Ailing Ex-Mayor Fails to Attend Hearing

Attorney: Wilson in poor health due to “stress of the situation.”

Written by MATTHEW WONG / Published February 4, 2010 (ONLINE ONLY)

Former Temple City mayor Cathé Wilson did not attend Thursday’s pre-trial hearing for medical reasons, her attorney said.

Wilson, and Temple City councilwoman Judy Wong were supposed to have been present during the October 8, 2009 court session in downtown Los Angeles. Only Wong personally showed up, though the former’s legal representative, Robert Wilson, was present.

According to Robert Wilson, who is not related to his client, Cathé Wilson has been suffering from poor health.

“She’s not able to walk currently. She’s having dizzy spells, anxiety, depression,” Wilson described to Alfred Lee, a local news reporter.

He continued, “The doctor’s advising her…[to] not come to court because of the stress of the situation.”

Wilson may not even attend the next scheduled court hearing, her attorney stated.

Deputy district attorney Max Huntsman, the prosecutor, commented that Wilson’s appearance was not necessary Thursday.

“If we were starting a trial, she’d have to be here,” Huntsman responded to Lee.

The former city official and councilmember Judy Wong are being charged with soliciting bribes in exchange for support of the Piazza at Temple City project. The project, a mixed-use development, received the city council’s unanimous backing in 2006, including Wilson and Wong.

Temple City voters ousted Wilson in the March 2009 city council elections. Wong, who is currently serving her second term, is not up for election until 2011.

Prosecutors in charge of the bribery case are seeking a minimum two-year jail sentence for both women. The former mayor faces a maximum prison sentence of nine years, while Wong faces a maximum jail term of ten years and four months.

For the record, both Wilson and Wong have maintained their innocence.

If a criminal trial proceedings move forward, former state assembly and city council candidate Scott Carwile and former Piazza manager Jay Liyanage are expected to testify on behalf of the prosecution. Liyanage and Carwile previously accepted plea bargains offered to them in May and June, respectively.

The next pre-trial hearing will be held on November 17.

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