The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has charged Yuri Garabaekyan, a former Los Angeles county power plant engineer with public integrity crimes, after allegedly manipulating county bidding procedures in an attempt to have contracts awarded to a friend’s company. Mr. Garabaekyan, pleaded not guilty at his morning arraignment hearing, his next court date is scheduled for September 29th, Department 50 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Garabekyan, a former employee of the Los Angeles County Internal Service Department, is being charged with one felony count each, for a conflict of interest and bribery. Prosecutors are alleging that at the time Garabekyan worked as chief station engineer at the Pitchess Congregation Plant in Castaic, he leveraged his position to steer million-dollar contracts to a friend’s company in order to advance his own financial interests. Prosecutors claim that in July 2010, Heat Transfer Solutions (HTS) was awarded a $1.4 million contract, and that two months later, the vice president of HTS allegedly bought real estate in Nevada from the defendant for $200,000, and in July 2011, HTS received a second contract for $1.2 million; the vice president of HTS allegedly had a close personal relationship with the defendant. If found guilty, Mr. Garabekyan faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison, the case was filed for arrest warrant August 25th. The alleged crimes were uncovered during an investigation by the Office of County Investigations, Los Angeles County Auditor Controller’s Office, prosecutors say. The case is currently still under investigation.