COMPTON — Two City Council members signaled this week that they don't intend to alter their decision in the public nuisance case against Francesca Houpe, even if it costs Councilman Floyd A. James his office.
Council members Maxcy D. Filer and Jane D. Robbins said as much Tuesday, as they blocked their colleagues from calling a secret meeting to discuss the case. "As far as I'm concerned," Filer said, "the matter has been decided and it shouldn't go any further."
Filer and Robbins cast two of three council votes in January to declare Houpe's home a nuisance after police reported finding three marijuana plants in her yard. At the time, Houpe was a prosecution witness in an election fraud case against James. And during the nuisance hearings, it surfaced that James had alerted police to the marijuana and then asked city legal officials if a nuisance proceeding might be warranted.
Now, James has pleaded no contest to one election charge, and a Superior Court judge is threatening to impose a felony conviction--which would result in removal of the councilmanunless the city action against Houpe is reversed before James' sentencing on March 30.