Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leary fraud trial to start Sept. 8

by Tom Nadeau

The trial of former Elk Grove City Council member Michael Leary, charged with legal wrong-doing in a property transfer deal, will start Sept. 8, a Sacramento County judge ordered Tuesday.

Judge Gary Ransom also set one final trial readiness hearing for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 25.

Leary, 49, is charged with four felony counts arising from a challenged 2006 transfer of title for a $610,000 residence at 3301 Marina Cove Circle, Elk Grove.

The alleged victim in the disputed deal was Leary’s former live-in girlfriend, Alyc K. Maselli. The charges against Leary include grand theft and forgery.

Leary has pleaded innocent to all charges in the matter of People v. Leary, #09F07685. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 12 years in state prison and fined some $75,000. He remains free on bail pending trial.

Many documents, week-long trial ...

Ransom set the trial about a month away after Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael Blazina and defense attorney William Portanova agreed there was “a large volume of subpoena documents” that had to be reviewed before proceedings could begin.

The two attorneys left the courtroom total armfuls of wrapped documents.

The courtly Portanova would say nothing about his client’s prospects, other than to predict that the trial confrontation of the two lawyers would be a meeting of “two gentlemen and scholars.” He said the trial could last one week.

Leary was present at the brief, 10-minute hearing. He made no comment and left immediately.

The last pre-trial conference will be held in Dept. 8 of the Sacramento Superior Court. Judge Geoffrey A. Goodman will preside over the formal trial in Dept. 9, Blazina said.

A 27-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, Leary left his high-ranking post upon his arrest. He was an Elk Grove city councilman for eight years before losing a re-election bid. Before that he was Elk Grove community services director.

He and Maselli were said to be planning marriage, but fell out during a banking dispute in early 2008.

Portanova has characterized the Leary-Maselli dispute as the kind of misunderstanding which often arises when couples breaking up try to divide their properties without the advice of attorneys.


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