Council critic returns to dais

CITY HALL — Edward Guerrero, the City Hall critic who in 2004 was forcibly removed from City Council Chambers for disrupting the meeting, returned to the public forum Tuesday to give officials their first tongue-lashing since he took a plea bargain for illegally possessing a firearm.

Guerrero, 51, pleaded no contest Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to felony possession of a firearm. He agreed to three years’ probation after receiving 24 days of credit for time served, court officials said.

Guerrero said he was left to freeze in a cooler while in custody and later denied medical attention.

“If all you can do is prosecute me — that’s really pathetic,” Guerrero told officials Tuesday.

His profanity-laced remarks Tuesday to the City Council were followed by an apology from Mayor Gary Bric.

County prosecutors charged that Guerrero was deemed to be a danger to others due to mental issues, thus wasn’t allowed to carry a firearm.

Guerrero said he was made to sign a series of documents under duress while a patient at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar. Among them was a pledge not to possess firearms, he said.

The Olive View-UCLA Medical Center stay was prompted in part after calls to authorities that Guerrero was suicidal, he said.

Burbank police on Sept. 16 responded to his residence at 225 S. Glenwood Place after he allegedly left threatening telephone messages against his landlord and others.

While authorities said he agreed to sit at the police station while officers searched his home, Guerrero maintains he was falsely lured under the pretense of hashing out disagreements with his landlord.

Officers found a rifle and bag of ammunition allegedly belonging to Guerrero inside his living-room closet, police said.

Guerrero repeatedly stressed that the World War-II era rifle, willed to him by a family member, was so old that it needed special ammunition to fire.

“They destroyed my house, broke into my closet, stole evidence, tapes, planted marijuana in my home,” he said. “Is this what this community is about?”

Guerrero was ultimately evicted and is now living on the streets, he said.

In 2004, he was forcibly removed from the City Council Chambers by Burbank Police Det. Joseph Dean and then-Police Chief Thomas Hoefel.

He was later convicted of resisting arrest and disrupting a council meeting.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in 2005 sentenced Guerrero to 30 days in jail and ordered him to take anger management classes, stay away from council meetings and have no contact with city employees.

“I will never condone Mr. Guerrero’s actions,” Bric said. “Unfortunately, he had a problem with the city, he was arrested, and I believe he was convicted.”

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