PHOENIX, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The former head of Arizona's Department of Veterans' Services has been indicted on felony charges of fraud, misuse of public money and conflict of interest.
The indictment of Patrick Chorpenning Sr., a disabled Vietnam veteran, comes less than three weeks after he was inducted into the state Veterans Hall of Fame, The Arizona Republic reported Friday.
Chorpenning, who led the department from 1999 to 2007, is accused of enriching his friends and family at the same time as he was cutting benefits to the veterans he was hired to serve.
His indictment is the result of a 2 1/2-year investigation by the state auditor and the Arizona attorney general's office.
Investigators say more than $1 million in state funds were misappropriated.
"These allegations represent a serious misuse not only of public money but of a critical public trust," says Terry Goddard, Arizona attorney general.