Former Colton councilman pleads guilty

Former Colton councilman pleads guilty

Former Colton City Councilman Ramon Hernandez abruptly changed his plea to guilty this afternoon, on the eve of his trial on charges of using city funds to pay for stays at local hotels and calls to sex hot lines.

Hernandez, 47, faces up to eight months behind bars and three to five years on probation when he is sentenced April 10.

Hernandez spoke in quiet tones as Superior Court Judge Ronald Christianson read each of the 24 charges of misuse of public funds. Afterward, he scampered briskly down a staircase and out of the courthouse.

"I have no comment," he said as he descended the stairs.

Two months ago, the former councilman rejected a plea deal that would have given him a maximum of six months in jail.

Frank Vanella, the lead public integrity prosecutor for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office, said outside court today that he was surprised by Hernandez' sudden agreement to plead guilty.

"You’ll have to ask him" why, Vanella said.

Hernandez has paid Colton $5,400 for amounts charged on his city cell phone and credit card.

—Darrell R. Santschi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

he's the nicest man in the worrld=/