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News-Press Editorial: Drayman's punishment not appropriate

April 19, 2014

Less than two weeks ago, locals who felt betrayed by the actions of John Drayman, the disgraced former Glendale councilman convicted of embezzlement, were able to take a small amount of satisfaction when a judge labeled him a crook and sentenced him to a year in jail.

After all, Drayman had pleaded guilty to perjury, filing false tax returns and to the most egregious of the charges against him, the theft of at least $304,000 from the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. — money he had been entrusted to collect from the weekly farmers market on the association’s behalf.

A sentence of a year cooling his heels in jail seemed like the best we could hope for in the Drayman case — even as we all knew it would likely be shortened, in the wake of the state’s prison realignment to reduce its overcrowded facilities. But none of us imagined Drayman would serve only a meager eight days in the county jail before being returned to the comfort of his condo.

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So, Drayman was given a 12-month sentence and served scarcely more than a week. Imagine the public outcry if Robert Rizzo, who in recent days was sentenced to 12 years for lining his pockets at the expense of the city of Bell, serves an equally ridiculous reduction in jail time and is out on the streets before Labor Day?

Unless further penalty reductions are in store, it looks like Drayman will be monitored by an electronic bracelet and confined to his home until only May 18. This seems to us more like a weeks-long “grounding” of a wayward teen than an appropriate punishment for a convicted felon.

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