Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Alarcon says D.A.'s office failed to tell him that alleged intruder had been released from mental hospital

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon claimed Friday that the district attorney's office should have notified him that the case against an intruder at his home had been dismissed and that he had been released from a state mental hospital.

The allegations came one day after a mentally ill man broke into Alarcon's Panorama City home for a second time in six months.

Alarcon, who represents the northeast San Fernando Valley, said prosecutors in L.A. County District Atty. Steve Cooley’s office should have told him about what happened to suspect Lawrence Lydell Payton.

Payton was arrested on suspicion of burglary about 6:45 p.m. Thursday at Alarcon's home on Nordhoff Street, the same house he was arrested for breaking into in October. He was being held Friday on $50,000 bail.

“I would like to have an explanation as to why he was released and nobody in the D.A.’s office bothered to tell us,” the councilman said. “I’m a little ticked off right now.”

Alarcon is under investigation by Cooley’s office, which is trying to determine whether the councilman illegally claimed the home as his residence. A politician who registers to vote at a place that is not his residence can be charged with a felony. Neighbors have told The Times that they did not see Alarcon in the home for long stretches of time last year.

Alarcon’s wife, who owns the house on Nordhoff Street, also owns a home in nearby Sun Valley -- a district represented by Councilman Paul Krekorian. Alarcon said he lives in the Nordhoff Street house and urged Cooley to drop the investigation, which he called “bogus.”

A spokeswoman for Cooley did not immediately have a comment.

Payton, 42, was first discovered inside Alarcon’s home in October. He had changed the locks on the doors and damaged many of Alarcon’s belongings. At the time, Alarcon said no one had been in the house for two days.

In Thursday night's break-in, Alarcon said he and his family had been away from the house for an hour and 45 minutes. Alarcon described the intruder as 6-feet-3 and 280 pounds. He voiced alarm that Payton had been just a few feet away from two of his daughters.

In January, Alarcon said that he stopped living in the Nordhoff Street home temporarily out of fear for his family’s safety. He made those comments days after investigators served search warrants on the two homes owned by his wife.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said Friday that there had been an arrest about 6:45 p.m. Thursday but would not provide more details.

Alarcon said prosecutors in Cooley’s office were in frequent contact with his sisters after an intruder broke into his mother’s home in Sun Valley last September. That type of contact did not occur in the case of his own home, he said.

He said he probably would install an alarm system in the house and possibly get a dog. He said he did not know why the man had entered his home a second time.

“I know he was declared incompetent to stand trial, but that doesn’t mean he’s competent to be in society,” Alarcon said.

-- David Zahniser


Intruder breaks into L.A. Councilman Richard Alarcon's house again

Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

More breaking news in L.A. Now: 

Convicted drug dealer pleads no contest in 'bling ring' celebrity theft case

Brother of accused LAPD detective criticizes judge for high bail

4 teenagers wounded in Laguna Beach knife fight

Embattled O.C. treasurer won't seek re-election, asks supervisors to strip him of investment powers

Comments () | Archives (17)

alarcon needs to come clean, theres no way this guy could have been squatting in his house the first time if it was occupied. i hope cooley nails him to the wall. what kind of message does this say to his constituents "i want to represent you but i dont want to have to live in your neighborhood"

this guy lives in alarcon's wife's rental house. as the neighbors say, alarcon doesn't live there. he lives in beverly hills. where is the irs and public disclosure when we need it?

Hate to tell you this, Mr. Alarcon, but get used to not being notified. This is the standard treatment that average tax payers receive.

because they are to busy futily trying to regulate medical marijuana

Come on, Richard--you don't live there--why would he notify you? Is it a right that everyone has to be notified, or just "special" elected officials like you?

Alarcon does not live in that house. Why would neighbors need to lie about not seeing it lived in. He needs to tell the truth. The DA's office must have a good case against him and he knows it. The house looked boarded up to me on the news.

He doesn't live there. the place has dirt and no grass on the curb... that place has seemed like no man's land for years. I was surprised when i read a few months ago that he was claiming that as his current home. it's a pretty sketchy block there, so i don't blame him i suppose. Sun Valley is about a mile out of his district i suppose but you wanna play politics follow them rules.

Did you see the condition of that house! I can't believe he says he lives there. It looks like it's been abandoned for a long time.

Besides, it appears as if this intruder is only looking for a roof over his head. Which leads me to believe he wouldn't enter an occupied dwelling.

You want notification, Mr. Councilman? Change the City Charter. Then you can demand stuff the rest of us don't have.

Arrogant politicians think it is different for them - laws, morals, freebies - just because they were elected to office. You are a public servant, Mr. Councilman. Just like a butler, maid, or housekeeper but your boss is more powerful and there are more of them. The problem is that your boss lets you get away with stuff. That's our fault and the recourse is in November.

Kgoddess already posted what I was going to say.

They probably tried to notify him but HE WASN"T LIVING WHERE HE TOLD THEM HE WAS.

Whats taking Cooley so long to prosecute Alarcon, or is the fix-in.

This is a direct violation of Marsy's Law. Your constituional rights outlined in the California Constitution state that you have the right to be notified. Elected DA Steve Cooley opposed Marsy's Law and therefore doesn't follow it. No one holds him accountable. Will YOU finally LA TIMES!!!! Doubt it!

Alarcon needs to retire....he has been around too long.

Richard Alarcon will say anything and do anything to deflect attention from the fact that he does not live in his district. He is the poster child for what is wrong with local government - Alarcon gave up trying to assist the residents of this city (if he every cared to, anyway) and all he is about is the e-plate car, the salary, the light work load and a pension. He gets all these things without doing his job.

It would be simple to see if he's been receiving mail at this "residence". Subpoena the postal service, maybe they can come up with a request to forward mai. Subpoena the B.H. postal service as well, uncover if he receives his mail there on a regular basis. His constituents should be furious about his self-serving lies.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Public Integrity Division is corrupt within itself. Cooley is corrupt to the depth the public will never know. If Cooley is elected AG the integrity of public officers in the state of California will be comprised. Who is currently in charge of the Integrity Division? Cooley has to go. His office is fraught with scandals.


LA Times are you going to finally go after Cooley's corruption or are you going to let him keep embarrassing you?


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: