City Councilman John Acosta pleaded not guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of forcing the removal of a city administrator by violating a city law blocking council members from interfering with administrative appointments.
According to the complaint, filed last month by the Orange County district attorney, Acosta had asked city officials to remove a city building and safety manager from his position.
Acosta, who has been on the council since 1981, maintains that he has done nothing wrong and had only given "friendly advice" to City Manager David N. Ream.
"I'll be surprised if the district attorney has any kind of case at all against me," Acosta said. The councilman said the prosecutor's office had been pressured to press the charge against him. He would not elaborate.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Wally Wade said he was not under any pressure to charge Acosta.
A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 21.