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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review
/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Hearing Officer to Assess Dispute Involving Official

March 28, 2000

WEST COVINA — A hearing officer will try to resolve allegations that City Councilman Michael Touhey choked a construction worker during an argument earlier this month, the district attorney's office has said.

Rather than charging Touhey with assault and disturbing the peace stemming from the March 14 incident, prosecutors said they hope a hearing officer can resolve the dispute between Touhey, 37, and construction worker Jason Hornback, 21.

Both men will be required to attend the hearing, which has not been scheduled, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney. If the two men don't reach a resolution, the hearing officer could make recommendations to the district attorney's office on how to proceed with the complaint, Gibbons said.

Hornback alleges that Touhey choked him. The councilman admits he grabbed the construction worker by the throat, but says it was only because Horback was reaching for a hammer.

The incident started when Touhey's wife, Debbie, exchanged words with Hornback when she was walking across a construction area outside of an elementary school. When she reportedly demanded to know Hornback's name and where he worked, he reportedly responded with a derogatory remark.

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