Leary trial goes today
-- maybe, possibly

by Thom Nadeau of Notable Trials Trial is expected to start today in the multiple felonies matter of People v. Michael Leary, the ex-Sacra...

by Thom Nadeau

Trial is expected to start today in the multiple felonies matter of People v. Michael Leary, the ex-Sacramento County sheriff’s lieutenant and Elk Grove City Council member.

But we’ve reported that before in People v. Leary, #09F07685, haven’t we?

Leary is looking a six felony counts, the major ones being allegations of fraud relating to the transfer of ownership of a house in Elk Grove. He has pleaded innocent to all charges.

It gets long, complicated ...
If convicted, Leary’s maximum possible penalty would be four years and four months in state prison. The minimum possible penalty Leary faces would be a period of probation, Deputy District Attorney Mike Blazina said.

The 50-year-old Leary could also be fined up to $75,000.

Today, Leary goes to Sacramento County Superior Court Dept. 9 up on the second floor where a judge will hear a final pre-trial motion and, depending on what action is taken – if any – a courtroom and judge will be assigned and jury selection will start.

Leary has been in court at least a dozen times this year regarding these charges. He has also filed separate a civil lawsuit against the ex-girlfriend notary public and her co-workers and operators of an Elk Grove title company.

He claims they conspired to victimize and defraud him in the deal that led to his current criminal charges.

Meanwhile, the state Fair Political Practices Commission has also accused him of money-laundering and campaign fraud. That matter remains in progress

If convicted in his criminal case, the 50-year-old Leary could be sentenced to several years in state prison and fined up to $75,000.

The ex-sweetheart-slash-title company case came to about a month ago when Leary filed a civil countersuit – Leary v. North American Title Company, et al, case #34-2010-00085705, claiming his former paramour Alyc Maselli, along with Abby Patneaud, Catherine Picton and others conspired through North American Title Company to defraud him of more than $25,000.

The FPPC allegations call for “a full investigation” into Leary’s allegedly illegal financial activities and, “if found guilty, because of his pattern and practice of unlawful behavior regarding his council seat, that he be punished to the extent of the law.”

The FPPC has asked the Sacramento court to force one of Leary’s business associates to present documents pertaining to Leary’s 2008 campaign expenditures.

The FPPC wants to see documents relating to a payment of $10,751.95 from his campaign committee account to the Circle Seven Wine & Liquor store for alcoholic beverages for the suspicious campaign event.

The FPPC complaint asserts, among other things, that money instead went to pay “back rent” for Maselli, a sum supposedly accumulated while the couple went through a temporary romantic split in their tumultuous, “on-again, off-again” relationship.

Leary allegedly wrote off another $7,000 as campaign expenses, but that money – some claim – actually went to a mortgage broker.

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