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Villa Park councilwoman targeted over anti-Muslim rhetoric

March 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of protesters showed up at Villa Park City Hall on Tuesday evening in a frenzied display of support or disapproval of an outspoken councilwoman.

Councilwoman Deborah Pauly made controversial comments at a Feb. 13 benefit for Islamic Circle of North American Relief USA in Yorba Linda.

Pauly, joining other protesters at the benefit, said, "I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise."

Pauly has since said she was referring to two of the controversial speakers at the fundraiser, not all Muslims.

Many have demanded the councilwoman step down.

But dozens of supporters, like the ones outside city hall Tuesday night, said they stand by Pauly and that some were only trying to censor her.

Though there were plenty of verbal confrontations outside, people on both sides of the issue were able to speak directly to the woman at the center of the controversy inside the council chamber.

People directed their comments at her and others in the room for more than two hours.

Despite the many confrontations, there were no arrests made.

In a related development, a 27-year-old San Pedro man was arrested Tuesday and charged with making death threats against Pauly by sending her a message on Facebook.

Paul Dean Andrews faces one felony count of threatening a public official.

Andrews faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted.

Andrews is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on March 30.