Former Irwindale city manager used public money for nights out on the town

A former Irwindale official has been ordered to pay hefty fines for the misappropriation of public funds.

Following his conviction, Steve Blancarte paid $20,000 in restitution and penalties for using city money to attend Broadway plays including "Phantom of the Opera" and "Mamma Mia!." He also attended Yankees and Mets games while on alleged business trips in New York. Blancarte had pleaded guilty, citing health reasons, on Aug. 4.

The 56-year old retired Irwindale city manager was one of four city officials charged last October with misappropriation of public funds from 2001-2005. Blancarte and officials said they were traveling to New York to discuss the city’s bond rating. The cost of these trips totaled upwards of $200,000, according to the L.A. Times.

Because of his guilty plea, Blancarte will never again be able to hold public office in California.

The other three officials, including Councilman Mark Breceda; finance director Abe De Dios; and former Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez, are due in court at the end of September.

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