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Councilman Richard Alarcon indicted on perjury and voter fraud charges

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon has been indicted on charges of perjury and voter fraud, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.

The charges were the result of a 15-month investigation by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. They include charges that Alarcon lied about where he lived and illegally claimed a Panorama City house as his residence.

The indictment was handed down on Friday and was unsealed by Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza on Wednesday afternoon.

Alarcon had acknowledged that the indictment was imminent at Wednesday's council meeting.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn said she received a handwritten note from Alarcon, 56, that discussed what he described as "the D.A.'s action."

"He communicated with each council member, asking us to keep an open mind, and that he was going to fight this and continue to work very hard for the city of Los Angeles," said Hahn. Councilman Ed Reyes confirmed that he received a similar letter.

Alarcon, who represents neighborhoods such as Pacoima and Sylmar, is expected to appear at a Los Angeles County courthouse at some time after 2 p.m.

Alarcon, who was in his chair during the council’s regularly scheduled Wednesday meeting, declined to comment. His spokeswoman, Becca Doten, said he would have a statement about his legal situation at 3 p.m. “He’s getting his work done,” she said. His lawyer, Fred Woocher, also declined to comment.

Prosecutors have been trying for much of the last year to determine whether Alarcon lied about his residency, which can be prosecuted as a felony. They served search warrants in January on two homes owned by Alarcon’s wife, Flora Montes de Oca -- one in Panorama City, which Alarcon claimed as his residence, and another in Sun Valley.
The latter house is outside Alarcon’s district and is in a neighborhood represented by Councilman Paul Krekorian.

Alarcon has repeatedly stated that his residency is at the 1950 tract house on Nordhoff Street in Panorama City, where he is registered to vote. He asserted that he has not always stayed in the house because a transient broke in and barricaded himself there last year.

At least six of Alarcon’s employees were subpoenaed to appear before the criminal grand jury last month.

One neighbor who lives across from Alarcon’s 1950 Panorama City tract house told The Times earlier this year that the councilman had not lived there for three years. Two other neighbors made similar remarks.

Alarcon has said he has complied with the law.

“We do have two houses and maybe that’s caused some confusion, but my permanent residence is on Nordhoff Street,” he said earlier this year.

-- David Zahniser and Jack Leonard

Comments () | Archives (8)

Perjury and voter fraud. It's very sad to see yet another elected official abuse their position and violate the voters' trust.

Richard Alarcon has cost this city - especially his constituents - enough grief and should resign. Remember, he's the same guy who got elected to the Assembly after being termed out of the Senate only to jump ship BEFORE even being sworn in to office so he could run for the (higher paying) City Council again. That special election along with the one to fill his Assembly seat cost taxpayers a couple million dollars, I expect. Time to tack the costs from this trial onto his public tab, too.

I don't know what's more disappointing - That he violated the public trust repeatedly over the years or that his constituents let him get away with it time after time.

They are really looking for any reason to indict this guy.

The ethics wave continues from Rangel to Waters and now to The Mustache! Finally, we are getting somewhere people!

Maybe it's just coincidence that the DA Steve Cooley is running for Attorney General as a Republican, and his rightwing teabagger base has been egging him on in blogs and elsewhere to "go after those corrupt Democrats?"

Whichever Alarcon's primary residence is, the fact is he does own a house in his district (or his wife does and it's community property), which is just a block or so from the border of the disputed district.

There are bigger fish to fry from the point of view of spending taxpayer dollars on this.

Just like Cooley was wasting money with his obsession to bring Polanski back from Switzerland for a show trial when there are many rapists who pose serious threats loose on our streets NOW, many DNA kits we can't afford to test because of cost! Each kit would cost $1000 to test and possibly remove a reap perp from our streets, but he's spend hundreds of thousands to haul back Polanski just when he showed at a high-profile film festival in Switzerland, after everyone knew he owned a house in Switzerland for over a decade.

"They are really looking for any reason to indict this guy. " Perjury as an elected official is OK then?

Usually neighbors will see you come and go if you live in your house- they didn't and over a period of years.

Too many things that didn't make sense; Alarcon can fool voters but apparently not the investigators and grand jury.

All CMs have something to hide, and his item was worth a felony.

I'm confused? Is he a Democrat or a Republican? Strangely enough, I don't believe the article says....

Dick Dastardly (Richard Alarcon) is a huge crook. He needs to be thrown out ASAP from council. This musical chair politics in the northeast valley has to end. We need to pass a law that you have to wait at least one year before you can run for a new office between state and the city. This will keep the politicians thinking more about there present job not their next job.

We need honest government with integrity.
“Good leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion”

Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for.


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