The Los Angeles Times has got its hands on the grand jury transcript in the Richard Alarcon case, an excellent excuse for us to come up some Johnnie Cochran--style headlines. The Los Angeles City Councilman is facing perjury and voter fraud charges following claims that he doesn't actually live in his own district. As you'll recall, a squatter moved in, and then the whole story blew up. As the Times reports, everything seems to rest on the utility bills--and just how little water was used at the house over a two-year period.
"The 1950 tract house in Panorama City allowed Alarcon to meet a requirement that council members live in the district they seek to represent. But a Department of Water and Power employee told jurors that the house used so little water between September 2007 and September 2009 that the total averaged out to 8.2 gallons per day.
That would be enough for either two toilet flushes in a 24-hour period or a single shower of a minute and a half, said Wayne Wohler, an assistant supervisor in the DWP's revenue security unit.
'Water use doesn't lie,' Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Jennifer Lentz Snyder told the panel, whose proceedings only become public if an indictment is issued. 'If they lived there, they didn't flush the toilet, they didn't use the sink, they didn't wash their hands and they didn't take showers.' An attorney for Alarcon calls the investigation a "stupid waste of time and money" and says the politician moved out to do renovations while Alarcon's wife was pregnant.
· Utility bills are key in case against L.A. Councilman Alarcon [LAT]