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Official's Son Faces Drug Charge

September 17, 2004|Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writer

The son of a Culver City councilman has been charged with misdemeanor drug possession.

Albert Peter Vera Jr., the son of Councilman Albert Vera, was charged this week with possession of a controlled substance, punishable by up to a year in jail.

"We believe that ... he's eligible for a drug diversion program," said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. "But it's up to the court to make that determination."

On Aug. 31, the district attorney's office stated that Albert Vera Jr. had been charged with a felony and released on bail. Gibbons said that report was in error, and that he had not been charged before Wednesday.

Culver City Police Officer Heidi Keyantash pulled over Albert Vera Jr.'s vehicle Aug. 7, and officers discovered methamphetamine, according to a police report.

Keyantash, in an internal memo to Police Chief John Montanio, alleged that the elder Vera showed up, threatened her and interfered with her investigation during the incident. She said the councilman "accused me of being 'out to get' his son and threatened me that, 'Well, I'll get you! I promise, I'll get you.' "

The officer also said Montanio ordered her to omit references to the councilman's actions at the crime scene from her report on the incident.

Albert Vera Sr. has denied any wrongdoing. A spokesman for Montanio said the department did "nothing inappropriate in the handling of the Vera Jr. case."

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