Four Irwindale officials are accused of misappropriating $200,000 of the public’s money on trips to New York City, only one asked for the city to cover his legal bills. The current city council voted him down flat.
The case, which broke as the statute of limitations approached on some of the charges, stems from a series of trips that officials made to New York City. They stayed at the Ritz, went to Yankees games, attended Broadway shows, and spent lavishly on dinners. The bills were footed by taxpayers.
The one requesting the city pay the legal fees, former councilman Manuel Garcia, said that the charges arose from the functions of discharging his duties as a city councilman. A stipulation in their employment agreement provides that the city shall provide for the defense in situations arising from such functions. However, a unanimous 3-0 vote denied the request.
From the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
The City Council last week unanimously denied a request that the city pay $75,000 in legal fees associated with Councilman Manuel Garcia’s embezzlement trial.
Mayor David “Chico” Fuentes and councilmen Julian Miranda and Manuel Ortiz voted 3-0 Wednesday to deny the request from Steven Graff Levine, Garcia’s attorney. Garcia and Councilman Mark Breceda, who is also facing an embezzlement charge, recused themselves during the closed-session discussion.
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