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West Ventura County Focus

OXNARD : Ex-Official Asks for New Trial in Theft

September 13, 1994|DWAYNE BRAY

Michael E. Wooten, a Ventura County transportation commissioner and one-time promoter of a card-club casino for Oxnard who was convicted of felony grand theft in July, asked a judge for a new trial Monday.

Superior Court Judge Allan L. Steele was scheduled to sentence Wooten, of Camarillo, for the theft conviction Monday. Instead, the judge gave the defendant until Nov. 18 to file his motion requesting a new trial.

Wooten's attorney, George E. Eskin, said the defense needs the extra time to obtain a copy of the transcript from the first jury trial and review the document. Wooten also is a lawyer.

If the conviction stands, Wooten would be barred from his seat on the Transportation Commission and would also lose his license to practice law, Eskin said.

"He has a lot at stake," Eskin said. Prosecutors did oppose Monday's deal, although they asked the judge to hold the hearing for a new trial sooner. But Steele said the defense needed all the time it was allotted to file its motion.

Wooten's theft conviction stemmed from a private construction deal unrelated to the casino proposal or his activities as a transportation commissioner.

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