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L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon, Wife Plead Not Guilty To Felony Voter Fraud Charges

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to perjury and voter fraud charges.

The District Attorney accused Alarcon of lying about his true place of residence when he ran for city office so he could represent the 7th District. They contend he lived in Sun Valley, not Panorama City as he claimed.

Alarcon, 58, is charged with 16 felony counts, including seven counts of fraudulent voting, six counts of perjury by declaration and three counts of perjury in an application for a drivers license. The crimes allegedly occurred between November 2006 and May 2009.

His wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, 47, is charged with six felony counts — three counts each of perjury by declaration and fraudulent voting in elections in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

A pretrial hearing is set on Nov. 15 for the two, who were ordered by a judge on Oct. 2 to stand trial.

Attorneys for the couple have said they plan to file a motion asking that the charges be dismissed based on the evidence that was presented at the preliminary hearing.

Alarcon has long contested the charges, insisting that he began living at the Panorama City home in November 2006.

In July 2010, just before the grand jury indicted Alarcon and his wife, he said: “Because my wife owns two homes and we have stayed in both of them during the last four years, I can understand the confusion, but my permanent home has always been on Nordhoff Street, regardless of where I may stay.”

Alarcon is currently running for a state assembly seat and was endorsed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last week.

(©2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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