Scales of Justice

October 05, 2013 7:40 PM
Brooke Self, Staff Writer

The former Hesperia mayor indicted six years ago for his involvement in allegedly misappropriating $5.5 million in public funds from a charter school chain may not see a criminal trial for at least another two months.

Former mayor and councilman Tad Theron Honeycutt and California Charter Academy founder Charles Steven Cox were set for a pre-trial hearing Sept. 27, but the hearing was continued until Nov. 15, according to court records.

The pair share a combined 117 felony charges for misappropriation of public funds, grand theft, tax evasion and filing a false tax return, court records show.

Pre-trial courtroom wrangling has now passed the six-year mark, with more than 35 scheduled court dates since September 2007.

Prosecutor Michael Fermin declined to comment publicly about the case. Attempts to reach defense attorneys Geoff Newman and Grover Porter were unsuccessful Thursday and Friday.

Newman is Cox’s fifth lawyer on the case, and a possible reason for this latest delay is Newman may need more time to review the approximately 52,000 pages of discovery and 456 exhibits that exist from at least 80 special grand jury witness testimonies.

Porter has been Honeycutt’s attorney since 2007, according to past reports.

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 California Charter Academy in 2007.

Cox was chief executive officer of California Charter Academy, 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.

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