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The San Diego UnionTribune: Indicted politician will seek seat again Councilman calls charges ‘baseless’

A Chula Vista councilman facing a potential trial on felony perjury charges said yesterday that he will seek reelection
in June. “I am putting together my campaign right now, working with folks to assemble a strategy to move toward reelection,”
Steve Castaneda said. Castaneda’s announcement ended months of speculation by City Hall insiders about whether the court battle would shift his focus from a campaign. Castaneda could not serve on the council if he were convicted of a felony. His attorney, Marc Carlos, filed a motion in Superior Court on Friday seeking dismissal of the 13 felony perjury counts. “I expect to be completely vindicated of these baseless and politically motivated charges,” Castaneda said. A county grand jury indicted Castaneda in June, after investigating whether he received special treatment while he lived in the Sunbow Villas apartment complex. The complex was being converted to condominiums. Castaneda did not buy a Sunbow condo and now lives elsewhere. He answered “no” when asked several times during sworn testimony if he had thought about buying a unit in the complex. Prosecutors believe he once intended to buy one, even though he didn’t ultimately do so.
His trial, originally set for September, has been delayed twice. The new trial date is April 7. A judge will consider the motion at a hearing scheduled for March 11. Carlos said the main issue raised in the motion filed last week is whether prosecutors can prove that Castaneda’s statements were intended to influence a criminal investigation. He said prosecutors never told Castaneda the subject of the investigation and that Castaneda believed he was a witness, not a suspect.

p-Indicted politician will seek seat again

About Marc X. Carlos

Marc Carlos is a partner and co-founder of Bardsley and Carlos LLP. Mr. Carlos has been practicing criminal law since 1987. He has been a member of both the Los Angeles and the San Diego County Public Defender's office where he was a senior trial deputy focusing primarily on serious felony trials. Mr. Carlos has tried over 140 jury trials and represented thousands of clients in criminal matters. He has tried a variety of complex criminal matters ranging from fraud to murder, including death penalty cases.

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