The conflict-of-interest trial of Downey Councilman James S. Santangelo has been postponed until Jan. 19, an official said. Jury selection was scheduled to begin in Downey Municipal Court on Monday but was delayed because Deputy Dist. Atty. Herbert Lapin had scheduling conflicts. This is the fifth time the trial has been postponed.
Santangelo faces a single misdemeanor charge in connection with his 1984 vote to expand Downey's redevelopment zone. Santangelo owned property in the new redevelopment area and in the city's original district. Santangelo was not on the council, however, when the original district was formed in 1978.
The 386-acre expansion was invalidated in 1985 by a Superior Court judge, who found that Santangelo had a conflict of interest. The California 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld that decision last month.