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The San Diego UnionTribune: Trial, reelection bid could coincide for councilman Castaneda’s term expires at end of ’08

Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda, who has pleaded not guilty to felony perjury charges, expects to go forward with a highstakes trial in February at the same time he could be running for reelection. Castaneda’s fouryear term expires at the end of 2008. A primary election for his seat will be held in June. This past June, a county grand jury indicted Castaneda on 13 felony perjury counts related to his sworn testimony during an investigation into his residency in the Sunbow Villas apartment complex while it was being converted to condos. Castaneda allegedly lied to the grand jury about whether he intended to buy one of the condos. In an unrelated matter handled by the grand jury, Castaneda was also indicted on two misdemeanor counts of failing to disclose income from selling a vacant lot. Castaneda, who has vowed to fight the charges, said he will announce in the next few weeks whether he will run for a second term. “It is very clear that I have not finished the work I promised the voters I would do as their representative, and I intend to work very hard to do that,” he said last week. If he is found guilty on all counts, he faces up to 52 years in prison and would have to resign from the City Council. However, both the prosecution and the defense say that in this case, if there’s a conviction, any sentence would entail little or no prison time. Two Chula Vista residents have filed papers to run for Castaneda’s seat: Pat Moriarty, a health care professional; and Richie Macias, a
business owner. The candidate nomination period doesn’t close until March 7.

p-Chula Vista City pleaded not guilty to felony perjury charges

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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