Elsewhere online
March 23, 2016

Ex-L.A. Council Aide Acquitted in Nonprofit Fraud Case

A long-time lobbyist and former adviser to a Los Angeles City Council member was acquitted Tuesday on charges that he and his wife used a nonprofit to divert nearly $20,000 in public funds to a former local water-district official, the Los Angeles Times reports. A Los Angeles Superior Couirt jury found Robert Katherman and his wife, Marilyn Katherman, not guilty after two days of deliberations.

The Kathermans were charged in August 2014 with funneling money to Ronald Smith, treasurer of the West Basin Municipal Water District, through the Adopt a Stormdrain Foundation, a water-quality charity at which they were board members. Prosecutors alleged Mr. Smith directed the water district to make sponsorship payments to the foundation, which were then routed back to him. Mr. Katherman’s lawyer, Mark Werksman, said his client was tricked into giving the money to Mr. Smith, who pleaded guilty to embezzlement in 2014.