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San Diego Council Candidate Pleads No Contest to Lewdness Charge

A former San Diego councilman currently running for a seat in this year's City Council election pleaded no contest Monday to a misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd act in public.

John Hartley was placed under citizen's arrest and booked into jail on March 27 after he was allegedly seen urinating into a cup and masturbating on a street in the upscale Kensington neighborhood near downtown. He was later released on $27,000 bail.

Hartley's attorney, Michael Pancer, entered the plea on his client's behalf at an arraignment hours after charges were filed. A misdemeanor charge of urinating in public was dismissed by Commissioner Robert C. Rice.

The candidate was sentenced to three years' probation and a $500 fine, according to Chris Morris, a supervising deputy in the city attorney's office who handled the case.

Messages left seeking comment from Hartley's campaign spokesman, Larry Remer, weren't immediately returned. Remer told the San Diego Union-Tribune in March that Hartley would stay in the race.

Hartley served on the council from 1989 to 1993. He is running in the June 3 election to replace termed-out Councilwoman Toni Atkins.

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