A Municipal Court judge has ordered Downey Councilman James S. Santangelo to reappear in court June 13 for a pretrial hearing on conflict-of-interest charges. Judge Mario Barsotti said he will decide then whether the case--which ended in a hung jury earlier this year--should be retried. He set a tentative trial date of July 18 in the Downey court.
Santangelo's first trial ended last month in a mistrial when jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction. The conflict-of-interest charge against Santangelo relates to a 1984 City Council vote to expand Downey's redevelopment district along Firestone Boulevard. The prosecution contended that Santangelo, a real estate agent who owned land in the area, stood to gain more from the change than the general public.
Santangelo said after the hearing that the pretrial date will have no effect on his plans to run for reelection in June. "I intend to run," Santangelo said. "The people in this community know me. I'm sure the outcome of the election will be in my favor."