LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has endorsed the state Assembly bid of a Los Angeles City Councilman who was ordered this month to stand trial on perjury and voter fraud charges.

Villaraigosa called 7th District City Councilman Richard Alarcon “a fierce champion for the residents of the Northeast San Fernando Valley” and said he is “not afraid to take on powerful, big-money interests.”

Alarcon and his wife were recently order to stand trial on perjury and voter fraud charges. The couple has been accused of not living in a Panorama City home Alarcon claimed as his residence.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria – who happens to be the mayor’s sister – found sufficient evidence to order 58-year-old Alarcon to stand trial on 17 felony counts, including perjury by declaration, perjury in an application for a false drivers license, falsifying a declaration of candidacy and fraudulent voting.

Alarcon is running for the seat being vacated by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, who is running for Alarcon’s City Council seat in March. Fuentes’ chief of staff, Raul Bocanegra, is also running for the seat and won 36.2 percent of the vote in the June 5 primary, compared to Alarcon’s 26.9 percent.

Bocanegra has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party and several Democratic state lawmakers. Alarcon has been endorsed by the San Fernando Valley Democratic Party and some of his fellow City Council members, including Council President Herb Wesson.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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