Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon late Wednesday insisted he was innocent after he was charged with 18 criminal counts, including perjury and voter fraud, related to allegations that he hasn't been living in his district. His wife faced six similar charges. Stated Alarcon:

My wife and I are innocent of the charges being brought by the district attorney … My wife and I are confident that when all of the relevant facts are brought out in a court of law, we will be acquitted of these charges and will be found to have broken no laws.

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! 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? Maybe because Alarcon hadn't lived in the place for quite some time, as neighbors said, and instead lived in a house his wife owned in nearby Sun Valley.

So the District Attorney is on your ass about not living in the house you say allows you to represent the district and you leave your home in a condition that invites a homeless guy to move in … again! That record,$170,000-a-year-plus council salary wasn't enough to fix the place up and put in a good security system? Really?

The word arrogance comes up again and again when it comes to this council. Alarcon insists he did call the Panorama place home sweet home. Maybe he did. But now he'll have to tell it to the judge.

LA Weekly