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Political aide acquitted in scuffle at fundraiser

September 25, 2009 |  3:39 pm

A Ventura County jury today acquitted the chief of staff of a state assemblywoman on charges of assaulting protesters outside of a political fundraiser last year in Thousand Oaks.

Jose "Joel" Angeles, the top aide to Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), was found not guilty of misdemeanor criminal charges stemming from a scuffle in which a 69-year-old Episcopal priest complained that he was body-slammed by Angeles, causing injuries that required shoulder surgery.

Angeles testified during the trial that it was he who was roughed up during the scuffle, and that he had not hit or shoved anyone.

The incident occurred when mostly Democratic protesters gathered outside of a fundraiser at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel for Strickland's Republican husband, state Sen. Tony Strickland.

--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento