By Jason KUROSU
Former Glendale City councilman John Drayman’s criminal trial has been set for an April 7 start date. Drayman is alleged to have embezzled over $300,000 from the Montrose Shopping Park Association [MSPA] over a period of seven years.
Drayman served as president of the MSPA board of directors until 2007. The April 7 date was set during a Nov. 4 pretrial hearing, 18 months after Drayman was indicted by a grand jury for fraud, forgery, money laundering and filing false tax statements, in addition to the embezzlement charges. Since then, there have been several postponements of the trial due to various factors, including two changes of attorneys on Drayman’s part and multiple extensions given to the defense in order to prepare for the case.
In September, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus rejected a plea deal, which would have allowed Drayman to plead guilty to the charges and perform community service and restitution to the MSPA in lieu of jail time.
Marcus did not mask his feelings regarding the numerous pretrial hearings preceding the trial.
“You have a right to a speedy trial,” Marcus told Drayman. “This case is getting very, very old.”
Marcus said he would grant a continuance because Drayman’s attorney had shown that there was good cause for a postponement. “The People apparently have some big case going and based on that, we have decided to give a final continuance.”
The defense lawyer indicated that he has to interview a lot of witnesses and things of that nature.
“Because of that, I’m going to make this one final continuance,” said Marcus, “but we will try the case at that point. There will be no further continuances allowed.”