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LA City Council aide charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter

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An aide to Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon was charged today with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for allegedly striking and killing a transient while driving a city car.

Manuel Figueras, 50, is accused of hitting Gary Woodford, 55, on Vineland Avenue at Erwin Street on March 14 around 7:30 p.m. Figueras was driving a city-issued Toyota Prius at the time of the crash.

Figueras will be arraigned on Sept. 17. Prosecutors will ask for $25,000 bail. If convicted, Figueras could face one year in county jail.

"I would again like to express my deep condolences to the family and friends of Gary Woodford, who died as a result of this accident," Alarcon said in a statment. 

"As Manny’s boss and friend, I can attest that he is beloved by the community. Manny has served the people of the northeast San Fernando Valley for nearly 20 years with distinction, compassion and concern. Without further information, I view this as a tragic accident and I am deeply saddened for all involved."

The District Attorney’s office initially did not file charges. The City Attorney’s office declined to consider the case, citing a conflict of interest, and sent the matter back to the D.A.

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