Sentencing in LA Voter Fraud Case Delayed

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Delaying the sentencing of convicted former Los Angeles city councilman, a judge on Wednesday cited the motion to retry Richard Alarcon and his wife’s voter-fraud case.
     In July, a jury concluded that Alarcon, 60, had lied about where he lived so he could run for his seat in L.A.’s 7th City Council District. He was found guilty of one count of perjury on a declaration to run for office, and three counts of fraudulently voting in elections for 2007 and 2009.
     The Alarcons say they are innocent. They claim their Panorama City home on Nordoff Street in the 7th district was under renovation and was a permanent residence.
     Witnesses testified that the home appeared dirty and vacant.
     Carolyn Jackson, a retired representative of the city Department of Transportation, said Alarcon had told her that his home wasn’t in the district. That was just months after he was elected in 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported.
     Jackson said that Alarcon had told her: “You know, I wasn’t even living in the district when I was elected. … I am now, of course.”
     Prosecutors want Alarcon barred from running for public office and have asked the state criminal court to sentence him to 180 days in county jail, with five years probation and 1,000 hours of community service.
     L.A. County prosecutor Jackie Lacey asked the court to dedicate half those hours to graffiti removal in his former district.
     Alarcon’s wife, Flora Montes De Oca Alarcon, was also convicted in July of perjury for declaring on a provisional voting ballot that she lived at the Nordhoff Street address.
     The D.A. is recommending 500 hours of community service, and disqualification from running for public office.
     Though the Alarcons were scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday, Superior Court Judge George Lomeli said that the court will consider on Oct. 14 the motion for a new trial and the issue of a new sentencing date.
     The Alarcons did not appear in court for the hearing.
     Michele Gilmer is prosecuting the case for the county. Alarcon is represented by attorneys Richard Lasting, Mark Overland and Courtney Overland.
     In an Aug. 20 filing supporting the Alarcons’ motion for a new trial, Lasting wrote that the verdicts, which he called “perplexing and inconsistent,” are not support by the evidence.
     “This motion is based on the failure of the court to adequately instruct jurors on the materiality element of perjury, the failure to adequately instruct on the meaning of ‘address where you live’ and ‘domicile;’ the failure of the court to give clarifying instructions on the effect of a rebuttal presumption and, the failure of the prosecution to present evidence sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either Richard or Flora ‘were not entitled to vote’ in the elections in which they were convicted,” Lasting wrote in a memorandum submitted to the court.
     Prosecutors will file an opposition by Sept. 29, Judge Lomeli said.

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