Ex-official ordered to pay Irwindale for Broadway shows, ballgames
A retired Irwindale city manager convicted of misappropriating public funds paid $20,000 in restitution and fines for using city money to attend Broadway plays and Yankees and Mets games on trips to New York.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Villar de Longoria sentenced Steve Blancarte, 56, to pay $5,303 in restitution and an additional $14,700 in fines and penalties. After he paid the fines, the judge agreed to dismiss another four counts of misappropriation of public funds against the ex-city official.
Blancarte will be barred for life from holding office in California because of his guilty plea in July, Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Schwartz said.
Blancarte was one of four Irwindale city officials charged last October. Prosecutors allege that between 2001 and 2005, Blancarte joined Councilman Mark Breceda, finance director Abe De Dios and former Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez on trips to New York. During each trip to discuss the city's bond rating, the officials used public funds to buy tickets to Broadway shows and sporting events, prosecutors said.
Blancarte attended plays including "Wicked," "The Producers," "Phantom of the Opera" and "Mamma Mia," along with Yankees and Mets games, Schwartz said.
Breceda, De Dios and Ramirez are scheduled to return to court on Sept. 27.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Retired Irwindale City Manager Steve Blancarte, left, stands next to his attorney John Tyre while making a court appearance in October. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times