The case of former Palmdale mayor Jim Ledford has to be the slowest moving example we’ve ever seen of the justice system at work.
In fact, one might say the wheels of justice have turned so slowly on this case, that amid the pandemic, we nearly forgot that this was still happening.
Of course, the fact that we were plagued with a pandemic helped slow a process that was already crawling along at a turtle’s pace.
We know what’s taking so long, but don’t understand why. Initially, many delays in the case were to blame.
His court dates kept getting rescheduled and he had not yet entered a plea in the charges filed against him in 2017.
Then, of course, the pandemic took hold, closing many government buildings, businesses and the like, so that slowed things down even further over the past year.
Now fast-forward to 2021 and it the case is back in the spotlight and Ledford has finally entered a plea: Not guilty. We could have told you he’d plead that way. The majority of pleas entered are not guilty. It’s then up to the prosecutors to prove otherwise.
By now, you’re probably familiar with the case. If not, here’s the Cliffs notes: He’s accused of illegally receiving more than $60,000 a year from local consultants and failing to publicly disclose the income on economic disclosure statements. He’s been charged with five felony counts.
Ledford, 67, was charged in June 2017 with one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime and conflict of interest and three counts of perjury by declaration.
A judge ruled in December that there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
If convicted as charged, Ledford — whose next court date is an April 22 pre-trial hearing — could be sentenced to more than four years in prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
Will there be more delays or will the pre-trial actually be held on the scheduled date? Your guess is as good as ours, however if there were further delays we wouldn’t be surprised.
We tend to wonder if a trial involving Joe Q. Public would move as slowly. We suspect it would not. In most cases, things move along swiftly and people quickly find out what the outcome is. Stay tuned.