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Supporters strategize to help indicted L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon

August 5, 2010 |  9:44 am

Alarcon One day after Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon was indicted by a grand jury on charges of perjury and voter fraud, a group of his supporters called a meeting in Panorama City to discuss strategies for helping him during his legal battle.

Al Avila, president of the Sylmar Business Improvement District, said Thursday that he and dozens of other community leaders will meet to discuss Alarcon's situation and then hold a 10:45 a.m. news conference to announce their support for the councilman, who has represented them in various elective offices since 1993.

On Wednesday, a criminal grand jury unsealed a 24-count felony indictment accusing Alarcon and his wife of multiple counts of perjury and voter fraud. Both entered pleas of not guilty.

Avila acknowledged the grand jury indictment has a large number of felony counts but said he was waiting to hear Alarcon's defense before making a judgment.

"At this point, we're very supportive of the councilman and everything he's done for us in the district," said Avila, a public relations consultant who lives in Sylmar.

The voter-fraud case focuses on the Panorama City house that Alarcon identified as his residence when he ran for City Council in 2007 and 2009. The City Charter requires a candidate running for office live in the district they are seeking to represent.

In January, prosecutors served search warrants on the Panorama City house and on a second house in Sun Valley that is owned by Alarcon's wife. That residence is in a district represented by Councilman Paul Krekorian.

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Richard Alarcon. Credit: Los Angeles Times.