Last week, the L.A. Weekly published a story about Josh Macciello, who attracted substantial media attention with a bogus $2.2 billion bid for the Dodgers.

As the story documented, Macciello falsely claimed in interviews to have “billions of dollars” worth of gold mines. By his own admission to us, however, Macciello has no financing and is not a bidder for the team.

In response, Macciello issued this press release, which does not even attempt to rebut the central charges in the story.

Instead, most of the release addresses two paragraphs of our story, those detailing Macciello's criminal record. Like most of what Macciello says, his response requires fact-checking.

First, Macciello continues to argue that he never sold heroin. We noted that assertion in our story. But as we also noted, the felony complaint states otherwise. It alleges he sold more than 14 grams.

Second, Macciello argues that his case was dismissed, as though that exonerates him. Here are the facts. As the story states, Macciello pleaded no contest in 2002 to a charge of possessing 3,000 Vicodin tablets for sale. He completed his probation and the case was closed. Nearly 10 years later, he filed for dismissal in an effort to clean up his record.

However, the dismissal does not erase the record of conviction, nor does it change the facts of what happened a decade ago. Its primary effect is that Macciello does not have to disclose the conviction to future private employers. However, for a reporter looking into his background, it's publicly available and it's fair game.

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