Juanita St. John, a former business associate of Mayor Tom Bradley who faces trial on charges of stealing money from a city-funded trade task force, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, authorities said Sunday.
A California Highway Patrol officer arrested St. John on the Pasadena Freeway about 11:42 p.m. Saturday and booked her at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Parker Center. After her release without bond, highway patrol officers drove St. John to her San Marino home, CHP Officer Steve Parr said.
St. John’s attorney, Victor Sherman, said the Highway Patrol apparently stopped his client’s car at a checkpoint and “got overzealous.”
The reason for St. John’s ride home, Sherman said, was: “I think they realized they’d made a mistake and they wanted to make amends.” Parr said it was because “her husband was sick and she had no one else to care for him.”
St. John, 59, was ordered earlier this month to stand trial on charges that she bilked a Los Angeles-Africa trade task force out of about $180,000. At the time, Municipal Court Judge David Doi predicted it would be “very difficult” at trial to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
The mayor and St. John were partners in a real estate venture while Bradley was lobbying to fund the task force.