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D.A. investigating Councilman Richard Alarcon

January 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Veteran Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon is under investigation. County prosecutors have searched homes owned by Alarcon. The lawmaker could face felony charges if he is registered to vote at a place that isn't his residence.The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is investigating a case that could eventually involve felony charges against Alarcon for voter fraud. The investigation concerns whether Richard Alarcon illegally lives outside his 7th Council District. He still claims a home in his district as his permanent residence.

Richard Alarcon is registered to vote at a 1950 tract house on Nordoff in Panorama City. He says he lives here.

Tuesday, investigators with the District Attorney's Public Integrity Division served a search warrant at the residence. They also served a search warrant at a Sun Valley residence as part of an ongoing investigation into voter fraud. Alarcon says he does not live in Sun Valley. The D.A. is responding to a complaint that Alarcon is not telling the truth.

Alarcon was part of a news conference in Mission Hills Thursday. He didn't want to go on camera to respond to the complaint that he illegally claims the Panorama City house as his residence.

The District Attorney's Office would only confirm the investigation and gave no details. The search warrants are sealed.

Alarcon would give no reasons for refusing an interview. The councilman did issue a statement to Eyewitness News. It says, in part:

"I am absolutely confident that when all the facts come out there will be no doubt that I live in the 7th Council District. In the meantime, I am cooperating fully with the D.A. and my focus continues to be on serving the people."

Both the houses in Panorama City and Sun Valley are owned by Alarcon's wife, Flora Montes de Oca. She is also registered to vote at the Panorama City house.

Alarcon's office said his wife's son lives in the Sun Valley house. In 2007 Alarcon unsuccessfully tried to get the council boundaries redrawn so his wife's home would be in his council district and he could legally move from the Panorama City home where he says his wife also lives.

Alarcon says it will all be seen as a simple misunderstanding. There is no comment from the D.A.'s office on details of the search warrants or the substance of the complaints that sparked the investigation.