UC Official Suspected of Fraud Commits Suicide

A University of California administrator who allegedly embezzled nearly $1 million while working in the office responsible for protecting UC's assets from fraudulent claims has committed suicide, the Contra Costa county coroner's office confirmed Monday.

A family member found the body of Diana Spaniol, 47, Sunday in her Walnut Creek home, said Capt. John Hart. The cause of death was inhalation of natural gas, he said.

Spaniol had been suspended from her post and sued by UC, but had not been charged with criminal wrongdoing. She left two brief notes, Hart said.

"One referenced the university and the other was more personal in nature to the family--an 'I'm sorry' kind of thing," Hart said.

While a manager in UC's Office of Risk Management, Spaniol allegedly filed and then approved a series of phony claims that netted her and her daughter almost a $1 million over eight years, according to UC's lawsuit.

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