A judge rejected a plea deal Friday that was reached between prosecutors and former Glendale City Councilman and Montrose Shopping Park Association Board Member John Drayman, who was charged with embezzling more than $300,000 from the Montrose Farmer's Market, according to the Glendale News-Press.
"I cannot give him a no-jail sentence," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus said on Friday, according to the News-Press.
Drayman is now scheduled to begin his criminal trial in November, but was ready to admit guilt as part of the plea deal, according to the News-Press, which added:
Deputy District Atty. Susan Schwartz said Drayman had agreed to the plea deal earlier in the week. In it, she said, he promised to plead guilty to three felony counts of embezzlement, perjury and tax fraud in exchange for 300 hours of community service, a lifetime ban from public office and $304,000 in restitution to the Montrose business group.
Drayman, a Montrose local, pleaded not guilty in May of 2012 to a 28-count grand jury indictment indicating that he stole between $304,000 and $880,000 from Montrose's Sunday Harvest Market.
Beginning in 2002, Drayman served as the director of the Montrose Shopping Park Association's Sunday Harvest Market, along Honolulu Avenue in the heart of Montrose. His role as director meant collecting proceeds from the local event and giving the money to the association's treasurer.
The indictment alleges that Drayman embezzled an estimated $305,000 between Jan. 1, 2004 and April 30, 2011 from the farmers' market and laundered the money through his personal bank account, officials said. Drayman left office last year.
Drayman allegedly committed perjury by omitting sources of income on his Fair Political Practices Forms. He allegedly submitted a false credit application to a mortgage lender in 2010 and did not report income to the California Franchise Tax Board, according to the indictment.
The Glendale Police Department and the Franchise Tax Board launched an investigation of Drayman and the Montrose Shopping Park's Sunday farmer's market. The investigation began when MSPA board members came to police with their suspicions after they said the market started showing big revenues after Drayman stepped down.
Nicole Charky contributed to this report