Scales of Justice

By Sarah Favot, Pasadena Star-News
Posted: 08/08/14, 10:30 PM PDT |

LOS ANGELES>> The arraignment of three current and former Irwindale city officials accused of public corruption was postponed Friday at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

It has been nearly a year since the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office re-filed charges against Mayor Mark Breceda, City Councilman Manuel Garcia and former City Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez.

The trio face embezzlement, conflict of interest and misappropriation of public funds charges related to lavish trips the officials took to New York City between 2001 and 2005. This news organization reported in 2007 the group spent more than $200,000 of taxpayer funds on expensive hotels and restaurants, Broadway shows, limousine services and New York Yankees games.

The trips were taken in an effort to increase the city’s bond rating.

Arraignment has continued to be postponed while the defendants’ attorneys have argued the statute of limitations has expired on the conflict of interest and misappropriation of public funds charges. Embezzlement has no statute of limitations.

In April, Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan granted Falangetti’s request to review a decision made by Judge Roberto Longoria in December. Longoria ruled prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to arraign the officials on all of the charges.

Ryan wrote Longoria can allow prosecutors to amend the complaint against the officials or back up his original ruling.

The D.A.’s office has filed an appeal.

To read entire story, click here.