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Top L.A. official's daughter, 11, found unattended at City Hall

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The president of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works is under investigation by Los Angeles police after her 11-year-old daughter was found unattended at City Hall last week, sources familiar with the case said Wednesday.

No charges have been filed against Andrea Alarcon, 33, and she was not arrested.

Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, confirmed an investigation regarding Alarcon had been referred to her office but said prosecutors requested more evidence before determining whether to file any charges.

 “If police present us new evidence, we of course will review it and make a determination as to how to proceed. However, we cannot comment on the case because we have nothing pending at this time,” Gibbons said.

Alarcon, an appointee of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, declined to discuss the investigation, saying she is celebrating the holiday with her family.

“My daughter and I have an extremely close relationship and as a single mother, she often accompanies me to special events for work,” Alarcon said. “Out of respect for my daughter's privacy and because she is a minor, I really have nothing further to say about this matter.”

Few details about the case were released. Sources told The Times that officers found Andrea Alarcon’s daughter at City Hall about 11:45 p.m. Friday and took her to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Division station. Police tried to locate Alarcon, who turned up about 2 a.m., said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing.

Police opened a child endangerment investigation and contacted the county’s Department of Children and Family Services, the sources said.

The incident took place the same night that City Hall’s rotunda and Spring Street entrance were used for a party thrown by Project Restore, a group devoted to restoring city-owned landmarks.

Cooley is now prosecuting a perjury and voter fraud case against her father, Councilman Richard Alarcon, and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon. That case involves whether the councilman lied about living in a house in Panorama City.

Last December, the California Highway Patrol arrested Andrea Alarcon on suspicion of DUI. Authorities allege that she showed “signs of intoxication” while in her car with a child. She was later charged by prosecutors. with drunk driving and committing cruelty to a child by endangering her health, according to the complaint.

Alarcon pleaded not guilty to those charges and is due back in a San Bernardino courtroom in connection with the case next month. Michael Scafiddi, Alarcon’s attorney in that case, said he expects some of those charges to be dismissed “in the near future.”

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-- David Zahniser and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Los Angeles City Hall. Credit: Los Angeles Times

 
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About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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