Scales of Justice

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.

A twist has developed in the long-running California Charter Academy prosecution.

Former mayor and councilman Tad Theron Honeycutt and California Charter Academy (CCA) founder Charles Steven Cox share a combined 117 felony charges for misappropriation of public funds, grand theft, tax evasion and filing a false tax return, court records show.

The case stems from an audit report commissioned by the California Department of Education released, in 2005, alleging conflict-of-interest transactions, eventually spurred the special grand jury investigation of the now-defunct CCA in 2007.

Cox was chief executive officer of CCA, which grew to be the largest charter school network in the state, as well Educational Administrative Services Corp., which handled the charter schools’ finances, according to reports.

Honeycutt ran Educational Administrative Services Corp. and was president of Maniaque Management Group Inc., which also contracted with the charters.

Now a new wrench may be thrown into the case.

Court records now reflect that Attorney Grover Porter, who represents Honeycutt, has filed a motion to withdraw as counsel.

The development is the latest in a case that will see its 8-year anniversary in September.

If Superior Court Judge Jon Ferguson grants Porter’s request, it could delay the case for at least a year or longer.

The reason for Porter’s motion is unknown. But such motions are common when a fee dispute occurs.

The case has already seen its share of delays consisting of multiple recusals of judicial officer’s and defense attorney’s, as well as the suicide by a public defender assigned to the case.

Cox continues to be represented by Conflict Panel Attorney Geoff Newman.

The prosecution is assigned to San Bernardino County Assistant District Attorney Michael Fermin.

The next court date on the case is currently set for April 17 in Rancho Cucamonga.

It’ll be interesting to see if prosecutor’s oppose this motion. If granted, the case will easily see its tenth year.