By Mary O’KEEFE
Former Glendale city councilman John Drayman was in Los Angeles Superior Court this morning for about 20 minutes to determine where both sides were in the case of embezzlement levied against him and to determine an estimated time of a trial date.
The last time Drayman was in court, the Grand Jury record regarding alleged embezzlement of funds from the Montrose Shopping Park Association was opened. The 28 felony charges against Drayman were revealed. (For more information on the charges, search Drayman Faces Charges on cvweekly.com)
When Judge Marcus asked if either side had an idea for a trial date, both said they were still sharing information and would need more time.
Drayman waived his right to a speedy trial and the next court date was set for Sept. 27. A trial date may not be set by the next court date either.
Kraut said he has reviewed the Grand Jury transcripts and that it was clear to him that all the information was not presented. At present the defense is continuing to review all documentation and will refute much of the testimony and information given to the Grand Jury and District Attorney’s Office.
“We [will be] able to refute the [information] and [show] that the loss of money is associated with someone else,” he said.
Kraut would not be specific on who the “someone else” was that he had referred to.
Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani, co-council with Schwartz, said there are a few steps that must be taken prior to setting a trial date.
“We are giving the [defense] additional discovery even today,” he added.
The documentation given today included items related to the case that the District Attorney must share in accordance to the law.
“It is police reports and other documentation,” Aratani said of the information shared today.
It has yet to be determined if Drayman will have a jury trial. Both the DA’s office and the defense would have to agree on the course of the trial.
Before the proceedings began, Drayman’s attorney Michael Kraut told presiding Judge Stephen A. Marcus that he wanted to place on the record the relationship between himself and District Attorney Susan Schwartz, who was not present in court today. Kraut had once worked in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and met Schwartz there.
“We are friends. We have been friends for almost 15 years, ” Kraut said.
Throughout the years they have remained close friends. He told the judge he wanted to acknowledge the friendship in public to prevent any conflict of interest questions in the future.
“[The friendship] will have no affect on my representation,” he said. “We disagree completely on the facts [of the case].”
Judge Marcus asked Drayman if he was waiving his rights to any conflict of interest concerns, although he added it was not unusual for lawyers to know each other as friends. Drayman said he understood and would continue with Kraut’s representation.