LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A former Los Angeles City Councilman and his wife Wednesday were convicted on charges of perjury and voter fraud, but cleared on several other counts.
Richard Alarcon was convicted of four felonies for living outside the district he was elected to represent, but he was acquitted on 12 other counts against him.
His wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, was convicted of three counts of perjury by declaration and fraudulent voting in elections in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She was acquitted on three remaining counts.
The couple entered not guilty pleas in October 2012 after the District Attorney’s office accused Alarcon of lying about his true place of residence when he ran for city office so he could represent the 7th District.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports prosecutors argued he lived in Sun Valley, not Panorama City as he claimed.
Alarcon, 60, was 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 49-year-old wife was charged with six felony counts — three counts each of perjury by declaration and fraudulent voting in elections in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Mrs. Alarcon’s attorney Mark Overland said he feels the verdicts were confusing and don’t make sense.
“I think these convictions are an illusion, they’re not gonna stand up,” Overland said.
Alarcon faces up to six years in state prison when he is sentenced in September and would be barred from holding elective office again, according to a statement from the county district attorney’s office.
His wife faces up to five years and four months in prison.
Richard Alarcon served on the council from 1993 to 1998 and again from 2007 to 2013. He served the 7th Council District, representing portions of the northeastern San Fernando Valley that include some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
Prosecutors said the couple falsely claimed to live in Panorama City so that Richard Alarcon could represent the district, when in fact they were living at his wife’s home in Sun Valley, about 5 miles away in another district.
Neighbors testifying for the prosecution said the Panorama City home appeared to be empty, and the prosecution said records showed no gas was used there for nearly two years, City News Service reported.
Officials who searched the home in 2010 found milk that was about 12 days old and eggs and orange juice that were about a year old, jurors were told.
Richard Alarcon had said he began living at the home in November 2006 but was temporarily living at another home while damage was being repaired from a 2009 break-in.
He was convicted of lying on a declaration to run for office and of fraudulently voting in 2008 and 2009 elections. His wife was convicted of falsely claiming she lived in Panorama City on a provisional voting ballot and of fraudulently voting in 2009 elections.
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