Richard Alarcon

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, were convicted in July of lying about where they lived so Alarcon could run for a seat on the council. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

By Soumya Karlamangla
September 9, 2014

Los Angeles County prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence former City Councilman Richard Alarcon to 180 days in County Jail and 1,000 hours of community service for his conviction on charges of perjury and voter fraud.

If Alarcon does not receive custody time in the County Jail it sends the wrong message – Deputy Dist. Atty. Michele Gilmer, in sentencing memorandum to Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli

Alarcon, a veteran San Fernando Valley politician, and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, were found guilty in July of lying about where they lived so Alarcon could run for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

Convicted of four felonies, Alarcon faces a maximum of six years in state prison, and Montes de Oca Alarcon faces five years and four months.

“If Alarcon does not receive custody time in the County Jail it sends the wrong message,” Gilmer said.

Alarcon and his wife have said they are innocent, and their lawyers have filed motions seeking a new trial. The couple is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, but lawyers say they think the sentencing will be delayed pending that appeal. Richard Lasting, Alarcon’s attorney, said he was hopeful the judge would grant a new trial.

In her sentencing recommendation, also signed by Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, Gilmer wrote that “it is hard to imagine a more egregious perjury case” than the Alarcons’. She described their claims that they lived in the 7th Council District as part of “a brazen scam” and “a particularly deceitful scheme” to get Alarcon a council seat and enhance his pension.

A jury found that Alarcon, 60, and his wife did not actually live in the Panorama City house that they claimed as their residence, but instead lived just outside its borders in a bigger, nicer home in Sun Valley, outside the 7th Council District.

Alarcon was a councilman until last year, when he stepped down because of term limits. His earlier political career includes years as an assemblyman and state senator and dates back to the administration of Mayor Tom Bradley, who picked him to deal with San Fernando Valley issues.

In addition to the jail time, Gilmer recommended that Richard Alarcon complete 1,000 hours of community service — 500 for graffiti removal — in Council District 7 and five years’ probation. He would also be barred from holding public office.

The recommendation for Montes de Oca Alarcon, 49, is five years’ probation and 500 hours of community service in Council District 7.

Gilmer said that although Montes de Oca Alarcon was an “active participant in creating the illusion,” of the couple’s residence, she “did not take advantage of a position of trust that was given to Richard Alarcon by his constituents when they elected him as their councilman.”

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