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L.A. Councilman Wesson's son charged with drunk driving

October 5, 2012 |  4:41 pm

Los Angeles City Councilman Herb J. Wesson Jr. His son, Justin, faces drunk-driving charges.Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley filed drunk driving charges Friday against the son of Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson.

Justin Wesson, who works as a legislative deputy in his father's office, faces one count of driving under the influence and one count of driving with a 0.08 or higher blood alcohol level. The misdemeanor complaint said Justin Wesson’s blood-alcohol level at the time was at least 0.15, which could trigger a stiffer sentence if he is convicted.

City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, who typically handles misdemeanor cases, referred this one to Cooley to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Justin Wesson, 30, and his father are Trutanich's clients, said Bill Carter, Trutanich's chief deputy.

Trutanich referred another case to Cooley earlier this year, involving Manuel "Manny" Figueras, an aide to Councilman Richard Alarcon who struck and killed a pedestrian while driving a city vehicle. Cooley filed a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter against Figueras in August.

Councilman Wesson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his son's case. Last week, he promised to take "appropriate action" within the office but did not elaborate.

Justin Wesson was pulled over last month at a drunk-driving checkpoint on Figueroa Street just north of the L.A. Live entertainment complex. He earns roughly $54,000 working for his father, whose district stretches from Koreatown to the Crenshaw Corridor.

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-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Herb J. Wesson Jr. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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