A former Glendale councilman who was sentenced last week to one year in jail after pleading guilty to embezzlement, perjury and filing false tax returns will instead serve the remainder of this time under home confinement.
After being sentenced, John Drayman was assigned to the Twin Towers jail facility in downtown Los Angeles. But L.A. County Sheriff's officials almost immediately cut his term by more than half, noting nonviolent and nonsexual criminals are eligible for the reduction under state prison realignment guidelines meant to reduce inmate overcrowding.
Department documents indicate Drayman will spend the remainder of his sentence -- currently scheduled to be completed Sept. 28 -- under home confinement, monitored via electronic bracelet. He was released Tuesday.
Drayman pleaded guilty to the felony charges last month, and was ordered to pay about $305,000 in restitution for losses tied to the Montrose farmers market. He must also pay about $14,000 in restitution to the California Franchise Tax Board, and will serve five years' probation.
The sentencing capped more than two years of legal proceedings since Drayman was indicted in May 2012 on charges of embezzling at least $304,000 from 2004 to 2011 from the farmers market, which he helped run before and during his time in office.
During his sentencing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus called Drayman’s conduct “appalling.”
“In common parlance, you’re a crook,” Marcus said.
The judge had previously rejected Drayman's plea deal proposition that included 300 hours of community service and restitution, but no time behind bars.
Former Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa, who was in charge when the Glendale Police Department investigated Drayman's embezzlement called Drayman's short time behind bars a result of state legislation that led to prison realignment.
"This is a direct illustration of the effect that AB109 has had on our local justice system in that there is a loss of accountability and consequences for felony criminal behavior," he said. "I'm sure the community is quite upset at seeing it was such a short time span. That's unfortunate."
Knocks on Drayman's door went unanswered Wednesday morning, but some neighbors in the hilltop condominium complex in the 3400 block of Stancrest Drive were quick to come to his defense.
"I'm glad he's home and wish him the very best," said 85-year-old Elma Schwartz.
Others said Drayman may be guilty of greed, but he was always a good neighbor. Schwartz, on the other hand, said despite his admission of guilt, she doesn't believe "such a nice man" could steal that much money. Schwartz said she planned to buy him an Easter card and tape it on his door tomorrow.
Not everyone, however.
A 76-year-old neighbor who asked to remain anonymous so as not to cause animosity with a criminal, said it was wrong for Drayman to be in home confinement.
"If he stays away from me, I'll stay away from him," the man said. "I don't want to be around a convicted felon."
While Drayman didn't come to the door, a dog barked inside. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey and other soft rock tunes played on the loudspeaker in the pink-painted hallway.
Drayman will spend the remainder of his sentence – currently scheduled to be completed Sept. 28 – under home confinement, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Jason Wolak.
Inmates must pay $300 for the bracelet, he said, and normally about $20 per day for the monitoring, though the actual cost is calculated by a sliding scale based on an inmate's ability to pay.
Judge Marcus, who called Drayman's lack of remorse appalling during his sentencing hearing, said he could not comment due to court policies that restrict him from doing so.
Ken Grayson, a board member of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., said he was shocked by Drayman's release from jail.
"I don't understand the system," Grayson said.
Dale Dawson, business administrator of the board, said he could not comment on behalf of the group, but personally he was disgusted by the news.
"We spent three years working with the police and the district attorney's office trying to bring this man to justice and there's no justice," he said, adding that this sends a signal to the younger generation that one can steal and spend just a week behind bars.
"I don't think outrageous is a big enough word," he said. "As a friend of mine says, 'It's a head shaker."
Editor's Note: This story was updated to include more information.