Charges of voter fraud and perjury against Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon were dismissed today by a judge who said prosecutors failed to provide a grand jury with evidence that could have favored the councilman’s case.
The Seventh District representative was charged in August of 2010 with nine counts of perjury, seven counts of voter fraud, and two counts of filing false declarations of candidacy. His wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, was charged with three counts of perjury and three counts of voter fraud. Her case was also dismissed today.
Prosecutors alleged Alarcon lived outside of his city council district, which covers the northern part of the San Fernando Valley. The councilman said that while his legal residence was in Panorama City, in the district, he, his wife and two daughters stopped living there in October of 2009 after a man broke into the house. The man allegedly spent 24 to 48 hours in the house, and tampered with clothing, pictures, doorknobs and closets. During that time, the family lived in Sun Valley, located in the council’s Second District.
"My wife and I are obviously very pleased with the judge's ruling today,” Alarcon said in a statement. “We have maintained our innocence throughout this process and have always believed that when all of the evidence is considered, we would be found innocent.”
The case was dismissed because prosecutors failed to provide a grand jury with evidence that may have favored the Alarcons' case.
In a statement, District Attorney Steve Cooley said, "Judge Kathleen Kennedy’s decision today to dismiss the Alarcon case is inexplicable. We will vigorously prosecute this case. We are evaluating our options to proceed.”
Alarcon is currently running for the state Assembly.
This post has been updated.