Should L.A. Council Suspend Richard Alarcon? It Could

Blogger, lawyer and onetime mayoral candidate Walter Moore points out on his site and in a comment at LA Weekly online that the Los Angeles City Council has the power to suspend and even call for the replacement of city Councilman Richard Alarcon, so long as he faces criminal charges related to his work. And that he does.

Alarcon was charged Wednesday with 18 felony counts, including voter fraud and perjury, related to allegations that he does not live within his district. Says the city charter:

Pending trial, the Council may suspend any elected officer, and the appointing power may suspend any appointed officer, against whom felony criminal proceedings, or criminal misdemeanor proceedings related to a violation of official duties as described in Section 207(c). The temporary vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the Charter.

Moore argues that the council should go ahead and take him off the body because votes he takes part in from here on out could be tainted if he ends up being convicted.

Of course, Alarcon has argued that he's innocent and that he will be vindicated. It will be interesting to see if he takes his place in council chambers and weighs in on city matters from this day forward.

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