DOWNEY — Mayor James Santangelo, whose trial was recently moved from Los Angeles Municipal Court, may have the trial moved again, said a Downey Municipal judge who disqualified himself from the case last week.
Judge Donald L. Wilson ordered that Santangelo's arraignment for conflict of interest, which was scheduled for Thursday, be delayed until Oct. 23. Wilson rescheduled the arraignment to determine whether another judge should be appointed to hear the case in the Downey court or whether the case should be transferred to another judicial district because of Santangelo's "close relationship to the community," according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Herbert Lapin.
Lapin said he did not know what caused Wilson to disqualify himself from the case. "Under judicial ethics, a judge should not have an association with the defendant, but in this case I don't know what that association is," Lapin said.
Leo P. Newton, who is representing Santangelo, had asked on Oct. 1 that the case be moved from Los Angeles Municipal Court to Downey Municipal Court. Newton said he requested the change as a matter of convenience.
Santangelo was charged July 18 with a misdemeanor for voting on a 1984 Firestone Boulevard redevelopment plan. He owned property within the redevelopment district.