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Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Briefs; New Candidate for CD4, Deputy City Attorney Arrested

Red Light Camera Hero Jay Beeber to run for LA City Council


The already crowded race to replace termed-out LA City Councilmember Tom LaBonge in CD4 became even more crowded with Thursday's announcement that Jay Beeber has thrown his hat into the ring.

Almost every local media source covered the announcement, perhaps a sign that Beeber's campaign will have the considerable advantage of earned media to bolster his record as an outsider with a proven track record of citywide accomplishment; it was Beeber who spearheaded the grassroots campaign to rid the City of Los Angeles of those accursed red light cameras. Beyond slaying LA's cash cow that was the red light camera program, Beeber's Safer Streets LA organization has succeeded in extending the orange light time to safer periods so as to avoid intersection collisions.

While the announcement of Beeber's candidacy likely brought cheer to many Los Angelenos who hail Beeber as a hero, the 13 other candidates running for CD4 in the March 2015 primary were likely less than pleased (Credit: LA Weekly for the candidates list):

  • Tara Bannister, VP of the National Apartment Association 
  • Teddy Davis, former aide to Antonio Villaraigosa 
  • Sheila Irani, an entrepreneur in Lake Hollywood 
  • Step Jones, owner of a vape shop and a "vapor advocate" 
  • Wally Knox, a one-time Democratic legislator in the 1990s 
  • Fred Mariscal, a Democratic Party and gay activist 
  • Tomas O'Grady, an edible gardens entrepreneur who got 31 percent of the vote against La Bonge in 2011 
  • Joan Pelico, top aide to Councilman Paul Koretz 
  • John Perron Jr., president of the East Hollywood Chamber of Commerce 
  • Carolyn Ramsay, top aide to Tom La Bonge 
  • David Ryu, a Korean community advocate and executive at Kedren Community Mental Health Center 
  • Steve Veres, an aide to legislator Kevin de Leon 
  • Oscar Winslow, president of the L.A. city attorneys' government-employee union
Beeber's success fighting the red light cameras and proven ability to organize grassroots campaigns makes Beeber a formidable opponent and likely frontrunner for a place in the runoff election.

Beeber's campaign website is www.Jay4LA.com.

Deputy City Attorney Chris Garcia Arrested; Child Pornography alleged


According to the LA Times (and most local print and broadcast media sources), Deputy City Attorney "Christopher Richard Garcia, 57, was arrested Thursday afternoon at his home in San Pedro and booked on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography, said Officer Liliana Preciado, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Garcia had been under investigation since at least November, when authorities served a search warrant at his home and seized computers and other “electronic evidence,” Preciado said.

“At the time, they found some questionable images,” she said.

A forensic search of the computer revealed evidence of child exploitation, she said.

Prosecutors said Garcia has been charged with sending or bringing obscene material into the state for sale and possession of material depicting minors engaged in sexual conduct.

He allegedly sent some of the material on April 2, 2013, and was found in possession of it that November, according to court records.

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday, and jail records show he has since posted $40,000 bail.

The Caifornia State Bar website lists Garcia as serving as an attorney for Los Angeles International Airport. Garcia previously worked with the U.S. attorney’s office and a joint electronic crimes task force.

City attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox said in a statement Friday that they were aware of Garcia’s arrest.

“When our office became aware of these allegations 10 months ago, Mr. Garcia was immediately placed on administrative leave, where he remains today,"
Wilcox said. "We cannot comment further on this ongoing criminal matter.”" The LA Times reported.

In 2010 Garcia run unsuccessfully for Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Office No. 28, and was prevented from using the misleading ballot designation "Federal Criminal Prosecutor," the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise reported. Garcia apparently believed that his temporary assignment at the US Attorney's Office prosecuting identity theft and fraud, justified the ballot title, however, the Registrar-Recorder's Office did not share that belief and refused to allow Garcia to use that ballot designation.

According to the Met New's profile of Garcia,  "... he almost didn’t become a lawyer, he explains. Even with an Ivy League law degree [Garcia graduated Harvard Law School in 1982] he explains, he really wanted to be a musician. He played the guitar in a band, and after failing the bar exam on his first try, thought maybe he wasn’t cut out for the profession after all, he says. But music wasn’t very lucrative, he says, so he joined the family business, R.G. Construction Co. in San Pedro." The Met News reported.

According to inmate information on the LA County Sheriff's website, Garcia was arrested by LAPD's Juvenile Division at 3:115pm on September 4, 2014, was booked at LAPD 77th Street Station, and was released at 11:12pm after posting $40,000.00 bail. The Sheriff's website quotes Garcia's case number as BA429000, suggesting that the charge or charges are felony crimes, but does not indicate the date when Garcia is scheduled to appear for arraignment at the downtown Criminal Justice Center.

Garcia is understood to have been well liked and respected by co-workers, many of whom were said to be stunned and dismayed at the news of his arrest. All persons arrested for crimes are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

&tc.

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