We really don't ask much of our City Hall leaders. Some have been drug abusers. Others philanderers. One small hoop they must jump through, however, is that they must live in the place they represent.
That, apparently, was too heavy a requirement for former city Councilman Richard Alarcon, who today was convicted of lying about where he lived while he was vying to represent the fine people of Panorama City, which he ultimately did.
See also: Richard Alarcon: Good Riddance and Hello
He and his wife were both convicted by a jury of multiple felonies:
According to a statement from the L.A. County District Attorney's office, 60-year-old Alarcon was nailed with ...
... one count of perjury on a declaration to run for office and three counts of fraudulently voting in elections in 2008 and 2009.
His 49-year-old wife, Flora Montes De Oca Alarcon, was graced with convictions on ...
... one count of perjury for claiming that she lived at the Nordhoff Street address on a Provisional Voting Ballot, and two counts of fraudulently voting in elections in 2009.
The duo claimed they lived in a Panorama City home they owned. It's in the district Alarcon represented. But the evidence was pretty clear that the place was abandoned at times, and that the Alarcons were living not far away in another house they owned in Sun Valley, which was outside the council district.
That's a no-no.
The denials were laughable. Here's our take from 2010:
What's bizarre about the Alarcon saga is that in January he spun the story of how a squatter forced him from his district home in Panorama City by breaking in and tearing the place up. At the time he said he had been forced out of house and home since October.
When he discovered the squatter, he said he did not know where he had been before he had returned home that fall weekend. Police confirmed that a suspect was indeed arrested for burglarizing the councilman's home in October.
Okay, so in March the squatter came back! Richard Alarcon said he recognized him. Now, why would a squatter break into and occupy a home being lived in by an L.A. city councilman?
Neighbors also said they never saw the Alarcons at the Panorama City place. The jury today wasn't buying it either.
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And, what's also kind of funny is that these two put it all on the line for a home in equally crappy Sun Valley. It's like, with a $178,000 a year salary, you couldn't fix the place up and make Panorama City work for you?
Anyway, Richard Alarcon faces the possibility of 6 years behind bars and a ban on holding office when he's sentenced. Flora Montes De Oca Alarcon faces a possible stint of 5 years, 4 months, and she could be prohibited from running for office.
Sentencing happens Sept. 10.