The son of Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian was arrested on suspicion of embezzling as much as $3,500 from a local department store, according to Glendale police.
Gregory William Zarian, 21, a salesman at Nordstrom department store in Glendale since last April, will be arraigned in Glendale Municipal Court on March 26.
He was arrested Feb. 27 after store security personnel said they spotted him stealing $80 from a cash register, according to police.
Joe Andrews, Glendale Police Department liaison with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, said authorities have not determined whether to file misdemeanor or felony charges against the younger Zarian. The case is under further investigation, and a decision is expected this week, he said.
The mayor said his son, a Glendale Community College student, "has always been an exemplary young man."
"He has made a mistake and he is going to go through the system like any other person," the mayor said, adding: "I am his father; I love him, I stand by him, I will stand by him."
The mayor, who is seeking reelection April 7, said he is confident that his political reputation will not suffer because of the incident.
"It will not harm me," he said. "The residents of Glendale and all my friends know that I have done a good job."
Nordstrom security officers told police that on Feb. 20, 22 and 25 they saw Gregory Zarian ring up false cash returns and other "no sale" transactions on the register and then take money from the cash drawer.
Nordstrom officials told police that they ordered the security surveillance after discovering a series of unexplainable cash shortages.
Evidence against Gregory Zarian includes four fraudulent documents and eight videotapes of earlier thefts, authorities said.
Attorney Robert K. Holmes said he will represent Gregory Zarian, but is unable to comment on the case until the district attorney files a charge. "Once we have a chance to study the charges . . . we'll be in a better position to analyze the case," he said.