Councilman makes no-contest plea
Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Created: 06/30/2010 09:12:53 PM PDT
CHINO – Councilman Earl Elrod on Wednesday pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge and received probation and a fine.
Elrod was not present in Chino Superior Court for the arraignment, but attorney David Goldstein made the plea on the councilman’s behalf.
Elrod, 56, was sentenced to 24 months of informal probation and ordered to pay $710 in fines.
On Feb. 14, he left the scene of a collision without exchanging names and information with the other person involved in the incident – a violation of the state Vehicle Code, authorities said.
Elrod’s vehicle, a black Lexus, was struck by a bicyclist – 57-year-old Salvadore Zavala – at C and 10th streets, police said.
Law enforcement officials indicated that Zavala was at fault in the incident because he ran a stop sign.
Zavala suffered minor injuries and his bike was damaged,authorities said.
Elrod negotiated a settlement with Zavala. Details have not been released.
A judge decided to delay a decision on restitution for Zavala. A hearing could be scheduled if he develops further injuries.
But for now, “property damage has been made whole,” said Christine Masonek, a San Bernardino County deputy district attorney.
“We did a little bit of investigation before the court hearing,” Masonek said. “We contacted the victim to see if he was paid for the damages and he said he was.”
Elrod did not return calls Wednesday but e-mailed out a statement about the incident.
“Although the bicyclist ran into me and was cited, I cooperated fully with the (California Highway Patrol) because it was the right thing to do,” Elrod said.
Following the 5:30 p.m. collision, Elrod drove away from the scene, authorities said. A witness to the collision followed the Lexus, took down the license plate number and reported the incident to Chino police.
Police officers turned the case over to the CHP to avoid a conflict of interest, Chino spokeswoman Michelle Van Der Linden said.
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