Greuel testifies Alarcon asked her to move council district boundary

Wendy Greuel
Wendy Greuel testifies during the perjury and voter fraud trial of Richard Alarcon and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, in Los Angeles District Court on Tuesday.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

In the perjury trial of former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, former colleague Wendy Greuel testified Tuesday that Alarcon once asked to move his Sun Valley home from her district into his. 

Alarcon and his wife have been accused of lying about where they lived so he could run to represent the council’s 7th District, which he did until last year.

The prosecution argues Alarcon actually lived in Sun Valley outside the 7th District, and falsely claimed to live in Panorama City. Alarcon has said he was remodeling the Panorama City house and that it was his permanent residence.

Greuel said Tuesday that when she was his colleague on the City Council in 2007, Alarcon asked “if I would consider moving the boundaries to include his fiance’s house." 


Greuel represented the 2nd District, which included the Sun Valley home. Greuel said she looked into Alarcon’s request, but decided against it because it would split a community along district borders.

The Alarcons’ attorneys tried to show that redistricting requests are common. They brought up a similar motion Greuel introduced for Councilman Tom LaBonge, but Greuel said she didn’t remember the motion or the reason behind it.

Together, the Alarcons face 22 felony counts in connection with allegedly lying about their residence in campaign, voter registration and Department of Motor Vehicles documents between 2006 and 2009.

The case revolves around definitions of residency requirements in the City Charter and state election code. The City Charter requires that candidates live in the district they seek to represent.


The prosecution’s witnesses so far  -- mostly neighbors and employees of utility companies -- have been presented to suggest the Alarcons didn’t spend enough time at their Panorama City home to meet the legal definition of a permanent residence. The defense has countered that though the Alarcons weren’t always there, they planned to return and therefore it was their permanent residence.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Michele Gilmer called Greuel on Tuesday to show motive: that Alarcon wanted to live in his bigger home in Sun Valley and never intended to permanently reside in Panorama City.

Earlier Tuesday, the prosecution also called state Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima). He testified that when he worked for Alarcon in 2007, he knew of plans to turn Alarcon’s Panorama City home into a condominium complex.

The prosecution is expected to call its last witness Thursday, with the trial concluding by the end of next week.

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