@TheGussReport – Just when you thought City Atty. Mike Feuer’s office had made enough poor decisions in the Wayne Spindler gun case, his spokesman Rob Wilcox and prosecutor Eugene Hall, Jr. dug deeper. Doing so may cost the taxpayers dearly.
Last week in www.CityWatchla.com, I wrote about how Mr. Feuer’s dubious gun charge against Mr. Spindler fizzled out in court. I was the only reporter present during the sentencing hearing. I saw first-hand how it went down.
The day after my article was published, City News Service’s Craig Clough published a piece without having spoken with Mr. Spindler or, apparently, checking the public record.
Mr. Clough’s story stated that Mr. Spindler “pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disturbing-the-peace charge” and “He was sentenced to a $200 fine and one day in county jail.”
Incorrect, incorrect, correct and incorrect.
The facts are as follows:
- Mr. Spindler did not plead guilty. He pled no contest.
- He did not plead to a misdemeanor. He pled to a non-criminal citation.
- He was not sentenced to any jail, as this was a citation and jail was not an option for Judge Andrea C. Thompson. Her only options were a fine and/or community service.
Mr. Spindler, whose guns were turned into law enforcement more than a year ago, and who turned in his gun clips last week, had to pay a $200 fine, which was more than offset by the part of a day Mr. Spindler spent at a police station during the booking process.
Mr. Spindler called Mr. Clough to advise his article was wrong. He demanded CNS stop persecuting him.
Mr. Clough allegedly told Mr. Spindler that he would issue only a partial retraction stating that Mr. Spindler in fact pled no contest to a citation, but many of the media outlets that published Mr. Clough’s incorrect version did not publish his corrected one, if in fact Mr. Clough published his correction.
Mr. Clough declined to state on the record whether he asked Mr. Wilcox how Mr. Spindler could be sentenced to jail for a non-criminal citation where jail was not a sentencing option.
When I reached Mr. Wilcox on his Sacramento-area cell phone number, without hearing my question, he shouted “no comment” and hung up. A follow-up email to him, Messrs. Feuer and Hall, Jr. asking if they stood by Mr. Wilcox’s claims to City News Service has not been returned.
Mr. Spindler believes that Mr. Wilcox, who is not an attorney according to the California Bar Assn., and prosecutor Hall, Jr. are also the sources for the false story originally written about the case by Los Angeles Times reporter Emily Alpert Reyes. In his upcoming legal actions against the Times and the City of Los Angeles, Mr. Spindler intends to depose all three of them, and others.
More facts: Mr. Spindler says he will ask Judge Thompson to hold Mr. Hall, Jr. in contempt; to dismiss the case entirely and find him factually innocent; and ask for sanctions and restitution.
Mr. Guss, MBA, is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and has contributed to www.CityWatchla.com ,KFI AM-640, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. Verifiable tips and story ideas may be sent to him at TheGussReport@gmail.com.