City Councilwoman Kathryn E. Wiser and her husband, Douglas, were booked into Orange County Jail Friday night after a Superior Court judge cited them for contempt of court.
Mayor Burnie Dunlap said the judge earlier Friday cited the Wisers for violating a court order that banned them from interfering with the sale of commercial property on Saturn Street.
The judge cited Kathryn Wiser, 53, for two counts of contempt and gave her a choice of paying a $2,000 fine or spending 10 days in jail, Dunlap said. Douglas "Bud" Wiser, also 53, was cited for five counts of contempt and told he could either pay $5,000 or spend 25 days in jail, the mayor said. A jail spokeswoman confirmed that the couple were booked into custody Friday night.
The dispute over the Saturn Street property stems from an ongoing lawsuit pitting the Wisers against Pacific Inland Bank. The city is not involved in the lawsuit, Dunlap said.
"It's a sad affair, and we hope it's resolved expeditiously," he said.
Pacific Inland Bank was in the process of selling the property when the Wisers' somehow disrupted the sale by contacting the Small Business Administration and Brea's city staff, Dunlap said. The Wisers once had a financial stake in the property, he said.
Wiser, who often casts the lone dissenting vote on City Council matters, is an elementary school teacher and has served on the council since 1992.
"Our understanding is that this situation in no way interferes with Wiser's ability to deal with council matters," Dunlap said.