News Of Dumanis Call Prompts Request To Strike Plea Deal
Thursday, April 24, 2014
An aide to former Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla wants to undo his 2008 misdemeanor guilty plea.
Aired 4/25/14 on KPBS News.
Jason Moore's defense attorney says his client should have been told about District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' call when he was charged.
The request follows news of a call San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis made before she investigated Chula Vista city officials.
In 2007, former Padilla aide Jason Moore faced five felony charges for perjury. Moore was caught spying on the political enemy of his boss at an event during work hours. Prosecutors said Moore lied about when he submitted a request to take time off from work. Moore ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a deal with the DA’s office.
Moore’s attorney Knut Johnson said that deal would have never been cut today. Johnson says revelations in a KPBS story this week changed everything.
The story reported that Dumanis called then-Mayor Padilla in 2006 just weeks before she started investigating Chula Vista city officials. Padilla said Dumanis asked him to appoint her own aide to a vacant Chula Vista City Council seat. Padilla refused and soon afterward, she launched her probes.
"If the district attorney called up Mr. Moore’s boss and tried to get that boss to make a city council seat available for one of her employees and then when refused a week later started an investigation that included subpoenaing Mr. Moore to the grand jury, that was undisclosed and we should have known about that," John said. "It's such an obvious conflict of interest."
Johnson said he plans to file court papers arguing that Moore’s plea deal was obtained illegally. The DA’s office said it had no comment at this time.