Former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife were convicted Wednesday of some but not all voter-fraud and perjury charges brought in a case that accused them of lying about where they lived so he would be qualified to run for his council seat. A seven-woman, five-man jury delivered the split verdicts to Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli. The couple was accused of claiming to live in a Panorama City house that was under repair, when they actually lived in a larger, nicer home in Sun Valley, outside his 7th District. Former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife are convicted of voter fraud and perjury for living outside the district the councilman was elected to represent. State and city election law requires candidates to live in the district they seek to represent. Alarcon, 60, was convicted of three voter-fraud charges and one perjury charge, but acquitted on 12 other counts. His wife, Flora Montes de Oca, was convicted of two voting charges and one perjury count.
Prosecutors said Alarcon lied when he swore that he lived in a home in Panorama City in L.A.’s 7th Council District so he could run in 2007 and 2009 to represent the district, which he did until last year. They said he actually lived in a bigger home outside the district in Sun Valley. The L.A. City Charter requires that candidates live in the districts they seek to represent.
During the trial, defense attorneys failed to convince the jury that the Alarcons were renovating the Panorama City home and planned to return to it, and so it qualified as their permanent residence. California law defines residence for voting purposes as a “domicile,” a place where one intends to remain and return after an absence.