Beaumont councilman Mark Orozco’s arraignment continued
The arraignment of Beaumont Councilman Mark Orozco has been continued until Aug. 10 to give his attorney time to review the grand jury transcripts.
Orozco was indicted by a grand jury on bribery and perjury charges and is free on $25,000 bail.
He appeared in the Riverside Hall of Justice on Thursday, May 25, but did not speak other than to tell Judge Samuel Diaz Jr. that he understood the process. He did not comment to the media.
Attorney David Greenberg asked for the delay so he can read the grand jury findings. He left open the option of filing a demurrer, a process that pleads for dismissal on the point that even if the facts alleged in the complaint were true, there is no legal basis for a lawsuit.
Diaz approved the motion, but said it would be the only one.
“There will be no further continuance after Aug. 10,” Diaz said.
Outside of court, Greenberg noted he was happy to finally have the report.
“I’m relieved and looking forward to reading the transcript and reading the indictment and presenting a vigorous defense for Mr. Orozco,” Greenberg said after the short hearing, holding the inch-thick transcript he just received.
The transcript will remain sealed for 10 days before being made public.
Orozco will be allowed to continue serving on the City Council and participate on other boards and committees as the case works its way through court, although some residents have called for his resignation or removal.
Greenberg had a reminder for critics.
“Mr. Orozco has not been convicted of anything yet,” he said.
Orozco missed the last City Council meeting May 16, the first since his indictment. The next meeting is scheduled for June 6.
Orozco, 40, was indicted on one count of soliciting a bribe and nine counts of perjury. He is accused of falsely identifying campaign funds on his required disclosure document – the Fair Political Practices Commission Form 460.
The indictment filed by the District Attorney’s Office on May 11 accuses Orozco of falsely listing a $50,000 loan from himself related to his unsuccessful 2014 run for the seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors
Orozco also is accused of one count of bribery, which allegedly occurred Jan. 13, 2016, a little more than a year into his four-year term on the Beaumont City Council, according to the indictment filed in Riverside County Superior Court.
The accusations against Orozco are not related to the corruption case against seven former city officials accused of misspending city money.
Those defendants are scheduled to appear in court Friday, May 26 for a procedural hearing.