Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon is not allowed to run for another term on the city council. So Alarcon wants to go back to the state Assembly. He will be challenged by Democratic legislative aide Raul Bocanegra, a former council aide. Both candidates have filed ethics charges against each other.
Surrounded by supporters Monday, Alarcon announced he's filed a complaint accusing Bocanegra of insider trading and self-dealing when he was housing deputy to then-council president Alex Padilla.
"A housing deputy should be helping the constituents of the Seventh Council District get housing, not taking one of their slots, jumping to the front of the line and getting $50,000 in no-interest loans," said Alarcon.
According to Alarcon's complaint, Bocanegra bought a three-bedroom condominium in Pacoima and managed to jump to the head of a 250-person waiting list, and with a no-interest loan. Bocanegra helped get the project approved as a housing deputy. Alarcon likens Bocanegra's deal to insider trading.
A spokesperson for Bocanega denies the allegations. In fact they've filed a counter-complaint of sorts with an ethics commission.
Bocanegra would not go on camera. Neither would his spokesperson, who said in a statement: "Richard Alarcon should be ashamed of himself and is frantically trying to deflect attention from his court appearance next week where he faces felony charges of perjury," wrote spokesman Josh Pulliam.
Alarcon is charged in court with lying about being a legal resident of the council district he represents. The case has yet to go to trial but pre-trial motions are expected next week. Alarcon denies perjuring himself.
The complaint alleges Alarcon used money from his Assembly campaign to pay for his legal expenses. Alarcon doesn't deny that.
"There is nothing illegal about using your campaign money for legal expenses and that's what we're doing," said Alarcon.
The ethics commission has yet to act on either of the candidates' complaints.