Scales of Justice

By Richard Winton
August 14, 2013, 4:06 p.m.

Four months after a state appellate panel voided grand jury indictments against Irwindale officials connected to the alleged misappropriation of nearly $200,000 on lavish trips to New York, Los Angeles County prosecutors on Wednesday refiled the charges.

Prosecutors allege the four officials spent taxpayer funds on pricey meals, exclusive hotels, Broadway shows and baseball games in New York — all under the auspices of geting a better bond rating for the tiny San Gabriel Valley city.

Councilmen Mark Breceda, 53; Manuel Garcia, 34; former councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez, 52; and retired Finance Director Abe De Dios, 68, are each charged with misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement and conflict of interest, said Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Kennes Ma.

They are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 11.

The case was first filed in 2010, but a panel of state appellate justices dismissed the indictments in April, saying prosecutors failed to present grand jurors with evidence favorable to the officials.

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