By Will Bigham Staff Writer
Created: 02/04/2011 04:47:25 PM PST

POMONA – Pomona Councilwoman Ginna Escobar pleaded not guilty to petty theft this week for allegedly stealing a campaign sign last year on Election Day.

Escobar’s attorney entered the plea on her behalf Wednesday in Pomona Superior Court.

Escobar, 24, was not present during the hearing. Her case is next due in court March 2 for a pre-trial hearing.

Escobar is accused of stealing a campaign sign on Nov. 2 belonging to Charles Goytia, a board member at the Three Valleys Municipal Water District.

The councilwoman declined to comment Friday when reached on her cell phone.

“I was told to have no comment,” she said.

Deputy District Attorney James C. Daloisio said Friday that he and Escobar’s attorney have not discussed the possibility of a plea agreement.

“Most likely it will go to trial,” he said.

Daloisio said he hasn’t finished investigating Escobar’s case. He said he planned to interview witnesses, but otherwise declined to elaborate on what he plans to investigate.

The Penal Code allows for Escobar’s case to be prosecuted as an infraction, rather than a misdemeanor, because the item she allegedly stole is valued at less than $50.

Daloisio said he doesn’t know whether he’s open to reducing Escobar’s charge to an infraction.

“I’ll know better when I’ve finished talking to all the witnesses,” he said.

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