L.A. Councilman Alarcon's court hearing could wrap up Tuesday
A decision on whether Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon will face trial on multiple voter fraud and perjury charges is expected to come Tuesday as his preliminary hearing wraps up.
Alarcon and his wife are facing 24 felony counts of perjury and voter fraud for allegedly lying about where they lived so he could run for his 7th District council seat in 2006 and 2008. Prosecutor Jennifer Lentz Snyder says the couple was actually living in a Sun Valley residence, outside district boundaries.
The preliminary hearing concludes a little more than a month before Alarcon seeks election to the 39th Assembly District in a tough battle with fellow Democrat Raul Bocanegra. Alarcon is termed out of his council post.
Lentz Snyder in early August began laying out a case against the Alarcons, putting on witnesses who testified that it appeared the home they said they were living in at 14451 Nordhoff Street was unoccupied.
Defense attorneys have suggested that the Alarcons moved out temporarily to make renovations but intended to return. On Monday, the defense got the district attorney's chief investigator in the case, David Babcock, to acknowledge that he didn't follow up on Home Depot documents showing that Richard Alarcon opened an account in May 2007 and made multiple purchases there.
Defense attorneys said they would call one more witness Tuesday morning. Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria will then decide if there is enough evidence to set the case for trial.
-- Catherine Saillant
Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon addresses the City Council last week just before lawmakers approved documents necessary to begin construction of an NFL stadium and convention center hall downtown. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times