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Petrilla Makes Statement to CRA About 2001 Arrest – Double Wow!

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 4, 2014

As Chris Nguyen accurately reported over the weekend (Live From the CRA Endorsing Convention), Jesse Petrilla made a statement to the delegates at the California Republican Assembly’s Orange County endorsing convention about his past criminal problems.  He did it via a spokesperson who explained that he was away at National Guard training last weekend.  Part of that statement was his defense from those “attacking him” regarding his 2001 felony convictions.  Part of his statement was that he beat the charges.  I was there and serving as the Parliamentarian for the group so I was right next to the podium when the statement was read. Since he told a different story to the Orange County Register the day prior to the convention (See: Does a conviction matter?) – either Mr. Petrilla isn’t keeping his stories straight or his spokesperson did not read the correct statement to the delegates.  Either way this does not bode well for him.

Assuming the statement that was read to us at CRA was the one Mr. Petrilla wished us to hear, the statement is shocking.  I am an attorney although I do not practice criminal law. However, I do know and understand that when you plead no contest and the judge explains to you that such a plea is the same as a guilty plea (and you state you understand that as Petrilla did) – that is not “beating the charges” but admitting to the crime.  That is why I was so shocked by his prior statement of only a few weeks ago in my post about this: Petrilla Statement – Wow!  The Rancho Santa Margarita Patch also carried a story about his prior statement of a few weeks ago which includes copies of the actual court documents from his criminal case confirming his plea bargain and sentence (Did Petrilla Lie?)

Now at the CRA convention he apparently doubles down by having a statement read to us in which he claims to have “beat the charges!”  I guess Jesse Petrilla and some of his supporters don’t understand something extremely important – that Mr. Petrilla’s statements about this incident in which he essentially denies that he plead no contest (i.e. guilty) to two felony charges were only four weeks ago and last Saturday!!!  It is his truthfulness now that concerns me more than what happened in 2001.

Am I glad he served his time and apparently got his two convictions expunged from his record – Yes!  Am I glad he is proudly serving in the U.S. Army – Yes and thank you for your service Mr. Petrilla!  But that does not excuse him from giving out statements like those referenced above to try and make people believe he “beat the charges” or “they were all dismissed” implying he was never convicted of a crime.  As with my prior posts about this issue – don’t take my word for it – go to the Patch post linked above, read the article and the attached pages and make the judgment for yourself.

Perhaps Mr. Petrilla needs to spend a little money and time to consult with a criminal defense attorney about what a “no contest” plea means and what his obligations are under California Penal Code Section 1203.4 in a political campaign (I will leave it to Mr. Petrilla to consult with his attorney about that section of the law).

I am and have been supporting Bill Brough for the 73rd Assembly.  See: Why I Am Supporting Bill Brough for the 73rd Assembly.

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