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4 Irwindale officials plead not guilty

Irwindale Councilman Mark Breceda, Finance Director Abe De Dios, retired City Manager Steve Blancarte and former Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez entered the pleas Thursday to misappropriating public funds.

January 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
An Irwindale city councilman and three former city officials have pleaded not guilty to felony corruption charges.Councilman Mark Breceda, retired City Manager Steve Blancarte, former Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez and City Finance Director Abe de Dios entered the pleas Thursday to misappropriating public funds during trips to New York City between 2001 and 2005.

The four allegedly spent $14,000 of taxpayer money on Broadway plays and professional sporting events during trips to get better bond ratings for the city.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said they've been investigating all four officials for the last three years.

A preliminary hearing is set for May.