DA Ditches Felony Case Against Ex-Councilman

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Prosecutors have dropped their plans to file felony charges against  former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre,  despite having determined “without doubt” that he worked as an unregistered lobbyist in the city from 2003 to 2007.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett wrote that “it is without doubt that from 2003 until January 15, 2007, Richard Alatorre worked as an unregistered lobbyist in the city of Los Angeles in violation of (a L.A. Municipal Code section), a misdemeanor.”, according to a document released Thursday.

The charge-evaluation worksheet alleges that the former councilman “continued working as an unregistered lobbyist” between Jan. 15, 2007, and Oct. 1, 2007, but it was unclear if his lobbying activities met the newly amended requirements imposed under the city’s
municipal code, according to the worksheet.

Alatorre registered as a lobbyist on Oct. 30, 2007, effective at the
beginning of that month, according to the worksheet. Alatorre began working in
April 2006 as an independent contractor for lobbyist and former Assemblyman
Mike Roos.

“By partnering with Alatorre, Roos had the opportunity to make a
significant amount of money; and, as a registered lobbyist, he could legally
handle the firm’s lobbying work by himself. Unfortunately, that is not how the
arrangement worked out,” Hassett wrote. “Roos listed Alatorre as a consultant
and then paid him to lobby on behalf of their mutual clients.”

Hassett also noted that “although they went to extreme lengths to avoid
registering Alatorre as a lobbyist, we nevertheless find that the conduct of
Richard Alatorre and Mike Roos does not rise to the level of a felony
conspiracy, and therefore decline to file charges.”

Alatorre declined to seek re-election in 1999 after representing the
city’s 14th Council District — which includes Boyle Heights and Eagle Rock —
for 14 years.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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