Judge grants John Drayman's release

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Wednesday granted the release of former City Councilman John Drayman from jail after his supporters agreed to pay a $16,000 bond.

All that remained Wednesday afternoon was for a bondsman to provide the $200,000 bail to the court, and hammer out details to secure Drayman’s release.

Prosecutors allege Drayman used his position with the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. and the Harvest Market on Sunday to embezzle between $304,000 and $880,000 over the course of roughly seven years. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges contained in the 28-count indictment.

Outside the courtroom on Wednesday, his attorney, Michael Kraut, called the grand jury process unfair and pledged to reveal the true story of the missing funds during the trial.

“Grand jury doesn't get to the truth of the matter,” he said. “Cross examination is the true seeker of justice.”

He claimed that others, who he declined to identify, were responsible for the embezzlement.

“[Drayman] has been waiting for his time to finally say what happened in this case,” Kraut said.

The decision by Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg on Tuesday to allow Glendale residents Sharon and Robert Thompson and Sharon and Bill Weisman to front the cash came after an extensive bail hearing that lasted much of the day.

Drayman — who was remanded into custody Tuesday after being indicted on embezzlement, money laundering, forgery and other charges — appeared in court handcuffed and in a blue Los Angeles County jail jumpsuit.

Schnegg declined to release Drayman on Tuesday without first verifying that the bail money was from legitimate sources.

“All the money I have was given out of my funds,” Robert Thompson said in court after being asked about origin of his financial contribution.

The Weismans kicked in a $10,000 check, while the Thompsons contributed $6,000 for the bond. The Weismans also put up a home they own as collateral for Drayman's release.

Schnegg postponed the hearing Wednesday to allow detectives a few hours to authenticate the pledged money.

Kraut also told the court that neither Drayman nor his life partner, Jeff Decker, will refund either couple for their financial contributions.

In approving the arrangement, Schnegg also ordered to Drayman not to handle any financial information or money from the Foothill Crafts and Collectibles market — recently started by Decker — as well as the shopping park's farmers market.

He is also not allowed to access any bank accounts tied to Decker or the crafts market.

Drayman is due back in Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 28 for a pretrial hearing.



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