The former mayor of South El Monte could go to jail after a jury convicted him of battery for striking a local newspaper photographer in the face and fracturing his eye socket, said a county prosecutor.
After a five-day trial, Raul Pardo, 33, was convicted last week of misdemeanor battery with serious bodily harm after he struck Larry Rodriguez, a photographer for the South El Monte Mirror.
Pardo, once a whiz kid of East San Gabriel Valley politics who was ousted from office last April after four years, is due back March 29 at Rio Hondo Municipal Court for sentencing by Judge Rudolph A. Diaz.
"We won't seek the maximum sentence, but we will seek jail time," said Deputy District Atty. James W. Garrison. Misdemeanor battery with serious bodily harm carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,000 fine. The El Monte jury found Pardo not guilty of another count of misdemeanor battery against resident David Santos.
The conviction stems from an altercation outside a town hall meeting at the Peter F. Schabarum Senior Center on July 6 about a ballot measure to allow a card club in the city. Pardo led pro-gambling forces, saying it would boost city revenues, but Rodriguez spoke against it.