LA City Councilman Richard Alarcón and his wife pleaded not guilty on Friday to renewed perjury and voter fraud charges, a day after a judge dismissed the same charges brought against the couple in 2010.
The Alarcons have been released on their own recognizance and will be back in court June 8 for a preliminary hearing.
Calling the judge’s move inexplicable, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley refiled charges on Thursday that mirror the indictment the couple faced, alleging the councilman illegally claimed a Panorama City house as his residence.
“We will vigorously prosecute this case,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said in a statement.
Alarcón released a statement Friday morning saying, “My wife and I have maintained our innocence throughout this process and we have always believed that when all of the evidence is considered, that we will be found innocent.
"We were pleased that yesterday, Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy ruled to dismiss all of the charges against us, and we remain confident that once the exonerating evidence we provided is considered, that we will be acquitted of these charges.“
The couple pleaded not guilty to those charges contained in a grand jury indictment alleging the councilman lived outside the district he represents.
A spokesperson for Alarcón’s office referred calls to attorney Fred Woocher, who did not immediately return a call.
In dismissing the indictment, Judge Kathleen Kennedy ruled prosecutors had failed to follow proper procedures in submitting exulpatory evidence from the couple’s attorneys to the grand jury in July 2010.
Cooley disputed her legal reasoning, saying the judge ignored legal precedents when she dismissed the grand jury indictment.
“The grand jury transcripts clearly show that our prosecutors did indeed present evidence submitted by the councilman and his wife,” Cooley said. “The grand jury chose not to consider it, as is their right.”
The complaint charges him with two felony counts of filing a false declaration of candidacy on Dec. 6, 2006 and again on Nov. 6, 2008.
He is charged with seven counts of voter fraud involving elections in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He is charged with nine counts of perjury, including three for allegedly filing false driver’s license applications.
Flora Montes de Oca Alarcón is charged with three counts of perjury for allegedly claiming that she lived at the Nordhoff address on a Provisional Voting Ballot, in registering to vote and on a driver’s license application.
She also is charged with three counts of voter fraud.
Alarcón has claimed he moved his family to the Sun Valley address after someone broke into his home.