Oct 27, 2010

SGV Tribune article leads to charges

The LA District Attorney's Office has filed criminal charges against four current and former city officials in Irwindale in response to revelations first reported in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Councilman Mark Breceda, former city manager Steve Blancarte, finance director Abe De Dios, and former Councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez have been charged with using roughly $14,000 in city funds to pay for baseball tickets and Broadway shows while visiting New York between 2001 and 2005.

A 2007 Tribune story written by then-reporter Jennifer McLain (today's Tribune article misspelled her name - *now fixed) documented the unusual expenses and questioned their legality. According to the Los Angeles Times, a anonymous tipster sent the story to the DA's Public Integrity Division, triggering an investigation.

McLain has since left the newspaper to pursue a degree in public administration at USC.

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