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In one of the stranger sideshows in city politics, Los Angeles budget chief Miguel Santana was arrested on suspicion for drunk driving in March after had imbibed at a fundraiser for county District Attorney Steve Cooley -- the man whose office would later levy DUI charges against the numbers cruncher.
What's more, Santana was embroiled in an epic battle over the city's multi-hundred-million-dollar deficit that could still see thousands of city jobs cut. Santana was a straight numbers man who indicated that major, structural cuts were needed. The timing was eery. On Tuesday the chief administrative officer at City Hall pleaded no contest to misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol, the District Attorney's Office announced.
He was not only sentenced to three years probation, but Santana would also have to attend a "hospital and morgue program" where the victims and perpetrators of drunk driving would be exposed, ostensibly in a state of death. He also was ordered to pay $1,737 in fines and attend a six-month alcohol education program.
A plea agreement was reached that dropped a second count of driving while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher.