Plea deal offered to Andrea Alarcon in San Bernardino County DUI case
This article has been corrected. See below for details.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney offered a deal to Los Angeles Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon on Tuesday that would require her to plead guilty to drunken driving and child endangerment stemming from her arrest near Running Springs two days before New Year’s Day.
Alarcon attorney Michael Scafiddi declined to comment about the offer but told the case prosecutor that he is prepared to fight the allegations.
Alarcon, 33, has been charged with misdemeanor counts that include driving under the influence and child endangerment, since her now 11-year-old daughter was in the car when she was detained by the California Highway Patrol on Highway 18 around 9 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2011.
A pretrial hearing in the case was postponed until Jan. 23. Alarcon did not appear at the Tuesday court session.
Deputy Dist. Atty. William Gale said his office is unwilling to budge on the two main charges. Alarcon’s blood-alcohol level that night was allegedly .19 — more than twice the legal limit of .08, Gale said.
Scafiddi said Alarcon might challenge some of the blood-alcohol evidence.
“A plea to DUI and child endangerment, that’s our position,” Gale said. “That’s what she’s guilty of.”
Under the deal, Alarcon would face no jail time but would face four years' probation, a mandatory DUI class, a 52-week program for child abusers and more than $2,000 in fines.
Alarcon, the daughter of Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, also is being investigated in connection with a second alleged child endangerment incident that occurred downtown shortly before midnight on Nov. 16 when her daughter allegedly was found unattended at City Hall.
An assistant to a top aide of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told Los Angeles police that she and Alarcon were at a downtown hotel the night that the 11-year-old was allegedly found alone about 11:45 p.m.
According to law enforcement sources, the girl told police she secretly followed Alarcon out of City Hall about 10:30 p.m. as her mother walked with a man and woman. When the girl caught up at 1st and Main streets, Alarcon told her to go back and wait at City Hall, according to the law enforcement sources. Officers who patrol city buildings saw the 11-year-old a short time later and, about 11:45 p.m., took the girl to a Los Angeles Police Department station, the sources said.
San Bernardino County prosecutor Gale said the City Hall investigation “didn’t help her case out here.”
Alarcon, who was appointed by Villaraigosa to her $130,000-a-year post, has taken a leave of absence and has not been charged or arrested in the City Hall incident.
Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney, two weeks ago confirmed that an investigation regarding Alarcon had been referred to her office but said prosecutors requested more evidence before determining whether to file charges.
Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey's office is prosecuting a perjury and voter fraud case against Alarcon’s father and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon. That case centers on whether the councilman lied about living in a house in Panorama City.
[For the record, Dec. 11, 12:02 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley is prosecuting a perjury and voter fraud case against Andrea Alarcon's father and his wife. Jackie Lacey is the new Los Angeles County district attorney who is taking over the case.]
-- Phil Willon, Andrew Blankstein and David Zahniser
Photo: Los Angeles Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon in 2011. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times