NOVEMBER 5, 2008
Steve Castaneda has been reelected as Chula Vista City Councilman, but Patrick O'Toole has disappeared from the Public Integrity Unit.
CITY OF CHULA VISTA CITY COUNCIL - SEAT NO. 4
Precincts Reporting: 100.0%
SCOTT VINSON - 46.88% (24876)
STEVE CASTANEDA - 53.12% (28183)
After the jury came back with a "not guilty" verdict yesterday in the case of Chula Vista city councilman Steve Castaneda, who was accused of hiding his "intent" to buy a condo while testifying during a grand jury investigation that found no wrongdoing, prosecutor Patrick O'Toole said, "It was a case from our end that we thought had to be brought -- that the obligation to tell the truth under oath is one that we're going to fight for."
I've been waiting for a long time to hear someone in Bonnie Dumanis' office say "the obligation to tell the truth under oath is one that we're going to fight for."
I'm pleased to hear that O'Toole is finally going to do something about Chula Vista Elementary School District trustees and administrators who obstructed justice and committed or suborned perjury. The District Attorney received my complaint in 2005.
Here is the story from Fox News:
Councilman Found Not Guilty of Perjury in Condo Charges
Last Update: 4/23/2008
A Chula Vista city councilman accused of lying to the county grand jury regarding his personal interest in an apartment complex that was being converted into condominiums was acquitted Wednesday of six of 10 perjury counts.
Prosecutors will decide later whether to retry Steve Castaneda on the remaining four counts on which jurors deadlocked.
"I'm very happy that I'm vindicated. I'm very happy about the fact that I can now go on with my life," Castaneda told reporters outside the courtroom.
Defense attorney Marc Carlos said jurors gave it their best shot -- deliberating for five days after a two-week trial -- before coming to a decision.
"They've had hundreds of exhibits and thousands of pages of grand jury testimony, and that's as good as they can do and there's nothing there," Carlos told reporters. "I think (District Attorney) Bonnie Dumanis should do the right thing and step up and dismiss the remaining counts. They've spent a lot of money on this case and it's gone nowhere."
Prosecutor Patrick O'Toole said: "It was a difficult case. Everybody knew that going in. It was a case from our end that we thought had to be brought -- that the obligation to tell the truth under oath is one that we're going to fight for."
[Blogger's note: This is apparently Mr. O'Toole's way of saying, "If we want to go after someone for political reasons, a perjury charge is a perfect way to do it. You can always say someone is lying, no matter what the facts are. Hardly anyone gets charged with perjury even when they do it in a case where a crime has been committed, but, hey, the law is there so why shouldn't I have some fun with it?"]