Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus agreed on Monday to delay former Councilman John Drayman's criminal trial until April, marking yet another delay in court proceedings since Drayman was indicted in May 2012.
Drayman, who allegedly embezzled at least $304,000 from a weekly farmers market he once helped run in Montrose, had tried to plead guilty in September in exchange for 300 hours of community service and a life-time ban from public service.
However, Marcus rejected the plea deal because it did not include jail time.
At the time, Marcus said the crimes that Drayman was willing to plead guilty to deserved prison or jail sentences. Before public defender announced the plea deal, Drayman had maintained his innocence.
In addition to embezzlement, Drayman was indicted for money laundering, fraud, forgery and filing false tax statements. As part of the original plea deal, Drayman promised to pay $35,000 to the state Franchise Tax Board.
“This case is getting very, very old,” Marcus said in his downtown Los Angeles courtroom. “I'm going to make this one final continuance.”
Drayman's attorney filed a request to delay the trial, which was set to begin by Nov. 20, on Friday, noting that he still had numerous witnesses to interview, Marcus said.
Deputy District Atty. Susan Schwartz did not object to the delay.
Glendale police began investigating Drayman after the organizers of the farmers market, the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. Board, reported Drayman's alleged wrongdoings to authorities. Drayman, who was in charge of collecting money from vendors and giving it to the board, at one point didn't hand over the cash for almost a year.
Proceeds of the farmers market in North Glendale benefit the shopping area along Honolulu Street. For years, the shopping park lost money on the market, but revenues have skyrocketed since Drayman’s departure.
Marcus set Drayman's trial to begin within 15 days of April 7.
Drayman served on City Council between 2007 and 2011.