11:11 AM PST, November 15, 2012
Former Councilman John Drayman's criminal case was pushed back yet again Thursday after he was assigned a new public defender who asked for more time to get a handle on embezzlement, forgery and other allegations.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus pushed Drayman's next court date to Feb. 5, but the earliest he said he could schedule a trial would be April.
“This is sort of a simple case,” Marcus said in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Thursday. “We won't be doing this forever.”
An April trial would be nearly a year after Drayman was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly embezzling at least $304,000 over the course of about seven years from the weekly farmers market in Montrose, the proceeds of which benefit the shopping park association.
Drayman has maintained his innocence.
Before the hearing on Thursday, Drayman said he was “hanging in there.”
When asked how he felt about getting a new public defender, he said he had no choice in the matter and “it is what it is” — a phrase he described as his new motto.
Deputy Public Defender Sean McDonald is the third attorney to represent Drayman in criminal court in the last six months.
The previous public defender was swamped with work so he was replaced, McDonald said after the hearing. Drayman said his first attorney, a high-powered lawyer who had expertise in white collar crime cases, was hired during the beginning stages before anyone knew where the case would go.
Outside the courtroom, Deputy District Atty. Susan Schwartz said she didn't mind the latest delay.
“We understand there's a lot of material that the defense lawyer has to absorb,” she said.
-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News