News Releases

August 14, 2013: Four Irwindale Officials Charged with Misappropriation, Embezzlement, Conflict of Interest

Contact: 
Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced today that four current and former Irwindale city officials have been charged with misappropriation of nearly $200,000 in city money on lavish trips to New York, ostensibly to get a better bond rating for the city. While in New York, the four stayed at exclusive hotels,

dined at fine restaurants and attended Broadway hit shows at taxpayer expense. Councilmen Mark Breceda and Manuel Garcia, former councilwoman Rosemary Ramirez and retired Finance Director Abe De Dios each are charged with misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement and conflict of interest. Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma with the Public Integrity Division is prosecuting the case.

Arraignment for Breceda, 53, Garcia, 34, De Dios, 68, and Ramirez, 52, is scheduled for Sept. 11 in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in case BA414668. The case was refiled today after the state Court of Appeal in April dismissed a Grand Jury indictment.

Between 2001 and 2005, the four traveled to New York for up to six days at a time allegedly in an effort to get a higher bond rating for the city. However, prosecutors allege that during each trip, the officials spent thousands of dollars to attend hit Broadway shows and sporting events that had nothing to do with city business.

In 2005, the four took two trips to New York that cost taxpayers a total of $66,000. While there, the four stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Central Park and purchased tickets to the musicals “Wicked” and “Mamma Mia.” They rang up $12,000 in limousine services during both visits and took in Yankees and Mets games.

Breceda and De Dios are charged with five counts each of misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement and conflict of interest. Ramirez is charged with two counts each of misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement and conflict of interest. Garcia is charged with one count each of misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement and conflict of interest.