Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price’s arraignment on corruption charges has been delayed until Dec. 15, but in the meantime, his attorney is pushing back against the allegations.
Price’s arraignment was set for Friday, but it was delayed until December, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Price, 72, faces five counts of grand theft by embezzlement, three counts of perjury and two counts of conflict of interest, according to MyNewsLA.com.
“Price, a 10-year veteran of the City Council, is accused of having a financial interest in development projects that he voted on, and receiving tens of thousands of dollars in medical benefits from the city for his now wife while he was still married to another woman,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
Price’s wife, Del Richardson Price, allegedly received more than $150,000 from developers of projects that the councilman later voted to approve.
In addition, while the councilman was still married to another woman, he secured more than $30,000 worth of medical coverage for Richardson Price, prosecutors allege.
If convicted, Price faces up to 10 years in prison, according to LAist.
On Friday, his attorney, Michael V. Schafler, issued a statement in his client’s defense and filed a demurrer alleging that in “many ways … the charges against Councilmember Price are legally deficient.”
“First, there is no allegation that Councilmember Price acted willfully or knowingly with respect to the conflict of interest or financial disclosure charges, which are necessary elements. Second, the embezzlement charges fail to state a cognizable offense, and are time-barred if brought under any other pertinent statute,” Schafler said. “However, even if our demurrer, which is based only on the face of the Complaint, is denied, the problems with the prosecution’s case are undeniable. They will only become clearer once the prosecution is required to put forth evidence of probable cause that Councilmember Price is guilty of a crime. We anticipate the prosecution will be unable to meet that burden, and we believe that this case never should have been filed.”
Price is the latest Los Angeles City Council member to find himself in hot water.
In addition, former Council President Nury Martinez, former Councilman Gil Cedillo and current Councilman Kevin de León were surreptitiously recorded making racist and other offensive comments, leading to Martinez’s resignation.
Cedillo’s term ended shortly after the scandal broke, while de León has refused to resign.