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Compton : James Sentencing Delayed

May 21, 1987

A Los Angeles judge will wait until June 30 to sentence Compton Councilman Floyd A. James on an election fraud charge that could oust him from public office. Although the proceeding originally was scheduled for last week, Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz agreed to postpone it at the request of James' attorneys.

The lawyers won a similar delay in April after announcing that they intended to ask Munoz to disqualify himself. But last week the judge noted that the lawyers had not asked him to step down.

James pleaded no contest earlier this year to a charge of illegally mailing some campaign literature during his bitter 1985 bid for a third term on the City Council. He expressed confidence at the time that Munoz would consider the violation a misdemeanor rather than a felony, which under California law would make him ineligible to hold public office.

As the sentencing drew near, however, Munoz said he would slap James with a felony unless the City Council withdrew an unrelated public nuisance citation against a woman who had testified as a prosecution witness. The City Council then filed an ethics complaint against Munoz, and James' lawyers indicated that Munoz was prejudiced against the councilman and ought to step down from the case.

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