Petrilla Releases Statement About 2001 Arrest – Wow!
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 28, 2014
Last night I observed a report over at the Rancho Santa Margarita Patch about 73rd Assembly candidate Jesse Petrilla being arrested in 2001 and his pleading guilty to two felony counts: one count for assault with a firearm and another with a “firearm enhancement” (Petrilla’s Past). I was surprised that he had nothing to say to the Patch reporter when he was contacted about it. Apparently today he did give out a statement – not to the Patch but to some of his friends which Patch reporter Martin Henderson obtained a copy of. It is here: (Petrilla’s statement). Basically in his statement he admits to being arrested but tries to make the situation sound like he was arrested for self defense with all the charges simply being dismissed.
Yet Councilman Petrilla glosses over: 1. that he plead guilty to two felonies and 2. that these two charges were dismissed only after he served all or part of his probation that a judge sentenced him to and the two charges he plead guilty to being reduced to misdemeanors. Mr. Petrilla does not express any remorse for his actions or that he has learned any lessons from this situation. He justifies this conduct by claiming the people he was firing the rifle at were drug dealers who were threatening him. In my opinion if that were true, the police or sheriff’s department and the District Attorney would likely have dismissed the charges – all of them – as self defense. No need to plead guilty in a plea bargain, no probation to serve and no need to have the two convictions reduced to misdemeanors and then dismissed (which I understand is common procedure for expungement of criminal convictions from your record).
According to the Patch reporter – the facts were double checked via Court records and found to be accurate.
Since 2001 has Mr. Petrilla joined the military and served honorably? Yes he has! Plus he and his wife have every right to be happy at the birth of his new son! But if he wants to represent people like myself in the legislature, he should be able to admit the truth about what happened in this past, admit to past mistakes and not try to parse words in a statement to try and wiggle out of admitting the truth of what happened. While I understand people make mistakes in the past – I also believe you need to be open about them (felony convictions are public record and are serious matters) and hopefully to have learned from them – not try to avoid the truth via well crafted statements.
I am no one’s “opposition researcher” and I am not on any candidate’s payroll. I am a voter in the 73rd Assembly District, a believer in the 2nd Amendment (including the right of self defense), a volunteer activist and an attorney by profession. My response to Mr. Petrilla’s “statement” is “WOW” not because I am impressed with his explanation, but because I am shocked that he would issue a statement that glosses over these important facts and try to act like his own plea bargained confession to two felony convictions simply did not happen. He would be better off if he had just stayed silent and not issued this parsed statement that avoids the obvious truth of what happened. In my opinion, Mr. Petrilla’s statement alone renders him unqualified to serve as my representative in the State Assembly.
I will be voting for a different candidate for this office.
Note: it was brought to my attention that I used the term “parole” instead of “probation” to describe part of the sentence the judge gave to Mr. Petrilla. That was my error and I stand corrected. I have changed the description to the correct sentence of probation.