L.A. Now

Ex-Glendale councilman gets one year in jail for embezzlement

A former Glendale councilman who pleaded guilty to embezzlement, perjury and filing false tax returns related to the loss of at least $304,000 from a local farmers market was sentenced Monday to one year in jail.

John Drayman shook his head as he was handcuffed in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, where Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus called him a "disgraced" ex-mayor who had shown no remorse.

"In common parlance, you're a crook," the judge said.

After pleading guilty to the felony charges last month, Drayman was ordered to pay about $305,000 in restitution for losses tied to the Montrose farmers market. He must also pay about $14,000 in restitution to the state Franchise Tax Board and will serve five years' probation.

Marcus had previously rejected Drayman's plea deal proposition that included 300 hours of community service and restitution but no time behind bars.

The sentencing caps more than two years of legal proceedings since Drayman was indicted in May 2012 on charges of embezzling at least $304,000 between 2004 and 2011 from the farmers market, which he helped run before and during his time in office.

Before his sentencing, Drayman received hugs and pats on the back from his supporters, Bill Weisman, a former city commissioner, and Glendale residents Sharon and Robert Thompson. ‎His partner, Jeff Decker, wiped tears from his eyes just minutes before entering the courtroom.

As he was escorted out of the courtroom, Drayman hunched over in his gray suit and tie.

Drayman served as Glendale's mayor in 2008 and 2009. He was on the City Council between 2007 and 2011.

Deputy L.A. County Dist. Atty. Susan Schwartz said after the sentencing ‎that Drayman betrayed the people of Montrose and the entire Glendale electorate.

"This case has divided the community of Montrose," she said. "John Drayman really has betrayed the trust of the people who relied on him, considered him a friend and considered him a benefactor."

Twitter: @brittanylevine

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