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San Fernando councilwoman pleads not guilty

August 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A San Fernando city councilwoman pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to misdemeanor battery and vandalism charges.

The charges against Maribel De La Torre stem from an alleged fight with former Mayor Mario Hernandez. The two reportedly had an affair that led to Hernandez resigning from the council.

"I want to make sure that my record continues to stay clean, and that my innocence prevails," she said after the hearing.

Hernandez also showed up to De La Torre's arraignment. He has said he would not testify in a criminal case against De La Torre and has publicly said that police manipulated him into filing a restraining order against her.

"There is no relationship. He is here because he wants to be here. I am going to be civil to any individual, just like I'm civil to the media, even though the media hasn't always written nice things about me," she said.

De La Torre is accused of destroying a laptop computer and a picture frame during the fight. The couple filed restraining orders against each other shortly after the confrontation. They later went back to court and had the restraining orders dismissed.

De La Torre, who remains on the city council, is due back in court on Sept. 20. If convicted, she faces up to two years in jail. Both De La Torre and current Mayor Brenda Esqueda still face a recall election.


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