A school board member for the city of Los Angeles was recently placed under arrest under suspicion of public intoxication while dining at a restaurant in Pasadena. The arrest of Ref Rodriguez is another problem for the public official who is already facing charges of laundering money.
Lisa Derderian, a spokeswoman for the city of Los Angeles, said that Rodriquez was taken into custody at about 4:30 A.M. on March 16. Rodriquez was approached by policemen while at the Yard House restaurant located at the Paseo Mall. He was held in police custody for nearly six hours Derderian reports.
Derderian told the Los Angeles Times that Rodriquez was released unconditionally without citation of filed charges and that further details of his arrest had not been made available to the public.
Rodriquez also spoke to the Times, acknowledging that the word of his arrest was, in fact, accurate, and saying that he was told by police officers on the scene that he was being placed in custody for his own safety. Rodriquez said that he was not a danger to anyone, including himself, but was told that it was simply normal police procedure.
A witness that was present at the Yard House restaurant at the time of the incident involving Rodriquez says that the school board member had been inside the restaurant for about an hour before the police were called on him. The witness, who expressed a desire to remain anonymous says that when police arrived, Rodriquez was swiftly ushered outside the restaurant.
Rodriquez says that he is now receiving counseling and is a member of a support group in order to assure that further incidents such as the one that took place at Yard House restaurant do not happen in the future.
A more serious problem for Rodriquez is the three felony accusations made against him, along with 25 misdemeanors, pertaining to alleged illegalities committed while seeking a seat on the school board in 2015. Rodriquez is charged with perjury, conspiracy, and an offense involving a forged or fictitious financial instrument.
Rodriquez relinquished his position as president of the school board following the charges but retains his seat on the board. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and will appear in court on May 9.