City Councilman Floyd A. James is scheduled to return to Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday for a hearing in an election fraud case that accuses him of vote-buying during his 1985 campaign. At the Friday hearing, prosecutors are expected to disclose whether they will go forward with a proposed plea bargain that could resolve the charges, or press for a trial in light of allegations that James recently used his influence to harass a witness.
Several weeks after witness Francesca Houpe testified against the councilman at a preliminary hearing July 1, police discovered three marijuana plants growing in her back yard. Sources say James initially alerted police to the plants, and discussed the arrest with city legal officials shortly before they recommended that the City Council declare Houpe's house a public nuisance. A council meeting on the nuisance issue is scheduled for next Tuesday.