They say when you buy a vintage car, you don't want one with a “story.” You know — if it requires too much explanation, there's trouble ahead.
And frankly, Richard Alarcon's story about the Panorama City house he was supposed to be living in to qualify for his City Council district election is one that's hard for us to buy.
The judge in his related perjury case seems have the same doubts. She ordered Alarcon and his wife to stand trial for perjury. Interestingly, that judge is …
… none other than M.L. Villar de Longoria, a.k.a. the sister of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Now, it seems that Mayor V. and Alarcon get along okay on the council (as does almost everyone).
But that's not supposed to matter. And it didn't today as Villar said there's “more than substantial evidence” to push the matter to trial.
Alarcon and his wife have vowed that they've lived in his district since 2006. You be the judge.
In 2009, Alarcon stopped living, at least temporarily, in the home he owns in his district. A nicer place down the block in Sun Valley became a refuge, he says, while that house was being repaired because of vandalism by a squatter. That Sun Valley place is outside his district, however, and he has signed his name to the concept of living inside the boundaries of his council office. That's a legal requirement of his gig.
Now, why would you squat in a home unless there's no one home?
In fact, this only gets better, because the next March the squatter found this allegedly inhabited home attractive enough to come back for more.
Neighbors said they hadn't seen Alarcon at the house for some time.
Last March the first attempt by the District Attorney's office to prosecute Alarcon and his wife for allegedly lying about the matter ended with the charges being dismissed. But the D.A.'s folks brought the case back.
City News Service lays out the counts:
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria found there was sufficient evidence to require Alarcon, 58, to proceed to trial on 17 felony counts, including perjury by declaration, perjury in an application for a false drivers license, falsifying a declaration of candidacy and fraudulent voting.
The judge dismissed one count — false declaration of candidacy — against Alarcon.
Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, 47, was ordered to stand trial on six felony counts — three counts each of perjury by declaration and three counts of fraudulent voting in elections in 2007, 2008 and 2009
Alarcon said he had a “strong case” and maintains the couple's innocence. Is he taking us for a ride?