A former UC Berkeley budget director has been charged with possession of child pornography following his arrest in January at his Berkeley home, according to court records.

Jon Bain-Chekal, 50, was charged Sept. 15 by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with a single misdemeanor count of possession of those materials, according to court documents. The charge is defined in the California penal code as to “unlawfully and knowingly possess and control matter depicting a person under the age of 18 years personally engaging in and simulating sexual conduct.”

Bain-Chekal entered a not guilty plea Sept. 28 before Judge Colin Bowen, according to court records online.

Police said they found images of child pornography on Bain-Chekal’s work laptop, and also in an online account that had been accessed from his home and work.

Bain-Chekal was a longtime UC Berkeley employee who oversaw high-level campus budget operations, according to the university. At the time of his arrest in January, Bain-Chekal was the executive director of financial planning and analysis at Cal’s Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance.

Bain-Chekal was hired at UC Berkeley in 1993 and resigned from his position there in May, said Diana Harvey, a UC Berkeley spokeswoman.

The police investigation began in 2019 after Berkeley PD got an alert about the online account from Internet Crimes Against Children and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Police investigators later served search warrants at Bain-Chekal’s home and work, according to court papers.

“In an interview, Bain-Chekal admitted to viewing and possessing child pornography,” BPD wrote in court papers. In January, Bain-Chekal was cited and released from Berkeley Jail. He has not been in custody since that time.

Bain-Chekal’s next court date, a pretrial hearing, is scheduled for Nov. 16 in Department 108 at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, according to court records online.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...