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Ex-Hermosa Mayor Won't Face Charges

October 30, 1986|KAREN ROEBUCK | Times Staff Writer

Former Hermosa Beach Mayor Jack Wood will not face charges for improperly enrolling his girlfriend in the city's insurance program before they were married, the county district attorney's office announced this week.

"The man did wrong, there's no doubt about it," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Herb Lapin, adding that ethics and legality are different issues.

Wood was critical of the six-month investigation into the matter. "The investigation, as far as I'm concerned, was nonexistent," he said. "I imagine because the charges were absolutely groundless, there wasn't too much to investigate."

Wood has admitted that he enrolled his girlfriend, Helena Toulmet, in the city's insurance program from November, 1984, to March, 1985, listing her last name as Toulmet-Wood and reporting a wedding date of Sept. 25, 1984. The couple actually were married on May 17, 1986, Wood said.

Lapin said that Wood could have been charged with petty theft, a misdemeanor, because he paid reduced premiums for his girlfriend's coverage through the group policy, Lapin said.

However, any charge that might have been filed on those grounds was compromised when the insurance company accepted a $108 reimbursement from Wood, representing the difference between group and individual rates, Lapin said.

Elected officials must pay the premiums for dependents covered under city policies.

Lapin said that if Wood had filed a claim against the policy, he could have been charged with a felony. Wood, who was solidly defeated in his bid for reelection in April, said this week that he plans to run for the City Council again next year.

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