Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leary hearing today likely last before trial

by Tom Nadeau

Former Sacramento County sheriff’s Lt. Michael P. Leary’s last last pre-trial hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. today in Sacramento County Superior Court.

He has pleaded innocent to all of the four felony fraud charges authorities have brought against him.

His trial is currently expected to start at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 8 in the court’s Department #9.

Several times the defense has hinted an eleventh-hour settlement might be in the offing, but, as pre-trial hearings dragged out over months of delays, none materialized.

However, Elk Grove News will be on the scene today and will report if a settlement is announced.

Love, loot lost ...

The crimes the 49-year-old Leary is charged with all stem from a property transfer dispute. They spring from a challenged transfer of title for a $610,000 residence at 3301 Marina Cove Circle, Elk Grove.

Leary was booked and arraigned in October 2009 on charges of grand theft fraud and forgery related to the title transfer between himself and his former live-in girlfriend Alyc K. Maselli in 2006.

If convicted in People v. Leary, #09F07685, Leary is looking at a possible 12 years in state prison and a fine of up to $75,000. He currently remains free on bail.

A 27-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, Leary resigned from a high-ranking post when he was arrested. Leary was also an Elk Grove city councilman for several years. He was an Elk Grove community services director before that.

He and Maselli were reportedly planning marriage, but their dreams of bliss seemingly dissolved during a 2008 banking dispute, documents indicate.

Leary’s attorney, William Portanova of Sacramento, has characterized the couple’s present mise-en-scène as the sort of unfortunate misunderstanding that can crop up when coup-les try to manage their own division of property during a marital break-up without a lawyer.


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