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Ex-Carson mayor is charged over head bop

February 23, 2007|J. Michael Kennedy | Times Staff Writer

The saga of the Carson slap is on its way to the courtroom.

There may have been much guffawing about it all, but Vera Robles DeWitt is going to court for whacking Carson Commissioner Jan Schaefer at a City Council meeting Feb. 6. The charge is misdemeanor battery, which carries a not-so-funny maximum punishment of six months in jail.

DeWitt bopped Schaefer on the back of the head with a sheaf of papers as she passed the commissioner in council chambers. Schaefer then shrieked and rolled to the floor -- an event that was caught by the City Council camera and that spread quickly over the Internet.

Mayor Jim Dear was also filmed calling for DeWitt's arrest.

The charges against DeWitt, a former Carson mayor, were filed Feb. 16.

The video "speaks for itself," said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

"That was part of what we viewed leading up to filing the case. It shows what happened," Gibbons said.

"It'll go through the judicial process," said Capt. Todd Rogers of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Carson substation.

Neither Schaefer nor DeWitt could be reached for comment Thursday.

Dear is the subject of a contentious recall effort and the election is less than two weeks away.

Schaefer is one of his major supporters. DeWitt is a leader in the recall campaign.

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michael.kennedy@latimes.com

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