Rep. Mervyn M. Dymally (D-Compton) has written a letter to Councilman Maxcy D. Filer suggesting that "justice (would) be well served" if the city dropped a public nuisance proceeding against a woman accused of growing three marijuana plants in her backyard.
On Tuesday, the council is to continue hearing evidence against Francesca Houpe, who was arrested in August after police reported finding the plants. Houpe denied growing any marijuana and contended that her arrest was meant to intimidate her from testifying in a felony election fraud case against Councilman Floyd A. James.
Police acknowledged that they went to Houpe's house after receiving a tip through James. And James acknowledged discussing her arrest with City Atty. Wesley Fenderson Jr., who then recommended that the council launch nuisance proceedings--the first step in a process that could lead to the confiscation of Houpe's house.
Writing "as a friend of over 24 years," Dymally reminded Filer that the Los Angeles County district attorney has twice declined to file criminal charges against Houpe. "I fully support the city's right to police and isolate those people who are guilty of dealing in illegal substances," the congressman wrote. "But this case is clouded by a great deal of questions and charges of conspiracy, and conflict."