#25 Oct 28, 2013
Car Parker, you talk smack through this medium, so now I ask you to talk your trash to my face. You have something to say about my mother, say it to my face. Just name the time and place. I'll be there so we can "discuss" the supposed relationship you had with my mom.
#34 Feb 28, 2015
And Justice for all 1 min ago
Former Irwindale City councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez talking to her lawyer Matthew Horeczko, while lawyer Anthony Falangetti receives a congratulate embrace from Irwindale Mayor Mark Breceda on the steps of Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Former Irwindale City Councilman Manuel Garcia, right, leaving courthouse. A superior judge dismissed several counts againster her. A superior court judge at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Thursday, February 26, 2015, dismissed several counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest charges re-filed against Irwindale Mayor Mark Breceda and former City Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez in 2013.(Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)
Too much time has passed to prosecute Irwindale Mayor Mark Breceda and former City Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez Thursday on charges of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest, a judge ruled Thursday.
But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said the two and co-defendant City Councilman Manuel Garcia can still be tried for embezzlement. The case against the three stems from decade-old allegations that city officials spent taxpayer funds on lavish trips to New York City.
The ruling, which came after several months of back and forth in court, was met with some jubilation at the tail end of a two-hour hearing in which prosectors and defense attorneys argued their positions.
An audience member gasped, "Oh my God," when Pastor announced his decision. And Garcia congratulated Ramirez, hugging her as she cried.
Pastor said he was "satisfied" with that the four-year statute of limitations on the conflict of interest and misappropriation charges had expired.
Breceda, Ramirez and City Councilman Manuel Garcia still face charges of suspected embezzlement, which has no statute of limitations. The trio are due back in court on April 30 for a hearing on a different motion to dismiss the remaining embezzlement charges.
Garcia's attorney Steven Levine said he hoped to have the embezzlement charges thrown out too.
"All they did was file the same documents," Levine said.
At the heart of the misappropriation case was a prosecution argument that claimed wrongdoing was not discovered until October 2007, when the D.A.'s office received an anonymous letter coupled with an article from this news organization detailing the trips.
Breceda's attorney Anthony Falangetti argued the statute of limitations began as soon as Irwindale's then-city manager Robert Griego discovered the potential crimes. Additionally Falangetti said the discovery, coupled with multiple letters sent to the D.A.'s office in 2005 provided sufficient information for prosecutors to investigate a case.
In fact, the D.A.'s office did open a case number at the time, but it wasn't until five years later that prosecutors filed the inital complaint, Falangetti said.
"Their duty to investigate, that's triggered by suspicion," Falangetti said during the hearing. "The law is (the deputy district attorney) had it and he had a duty to do something about it."
Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma acknowledged the 2005 letters, but argued that the statute did not begin until allegations raised in the letters were backed up by facts in a 2007 memorandum written by Griego.
"We get thousands and thousands of letters," Ma said.
Pastor, who said prior to oral arguments on Thursday that he found the defense's case to be "persuasive," ultimately sided with the defendants.
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