View Full Version : Nativo Lopez

11-14-2010, 07:23 AM
Just an update on our ole buddy Larry Lopez, AKA "Nativo".

And I'm not really cheating by putting him here - There were greater lunatics than Lopez on the recent ballot:

Nativo Lopez’s mental health again at issue

November 12th, 2010

Martin Wisckol, Politics reporter

Immigrant-rights activist and former Santa Ana schools trustee Nativo Lopez, facing eight felony counts alleging voter fraud, will again be going to court for a mental competency hearing, this time on Nov. 22.

“The case has been delayed because Lopez was uncooperative with the previous psychiatrist,” said L.A. County DA’s spokewoman Jane Robison. “He was referred to another psychiatrist.”

It’s been a long, winding road to trial for Lopez, and when a trial or settlement will ever come about is anybody’s guess. A month after he was charged in June 2009, his lawyer, Edward R. Munoz, told me a settlement was possible.

At a February hearing, he fired Munoz and repeatedly told the court he was not the defendant – and was ordered to have a mental competency hearing.

He was eventually found competent to stand trial, but not before being jailed for four days after failing to identify himself to the court.

At least Robison told me in March that he’d been found competent. When he was indicted on a total of eight counts by the Los Angeles Grand Jury in July, there was again a mental competency hearing scheduled – and delayed – and now rescheduled for Nov. 22.

The charges concern his changing his voting address from his Santa Ana home to the Boyle Heights office of Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, a groups he leads, in 2008, when he won a seat on the Green Party of Los Angeles’ governing Central Comittee.

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley alleged that Lopez’s primary residence continued to be in Santa Ana and so he had illegally registered to vote – and illegally voted – in Los Angeles.

In 1996, Lopez attracted controversy for registering new citizens in the congressional district where Democrat Loretta Sanchez upset incumbent Bob Dornan.

A congressional investigation later found that some voters had cast ballots before their citizenship was finalized. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office investigated allegations that Lopez’s primary organization, then known as Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, was responsible for the improper registrations but no charges were filed.

Lopez also ran into difficulties in 2002 over hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding received by Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, whose services included citizenship training and English lessons. Prosecutors alleged that Lopez had wrongly used the education grants to pay the mortgage on his headquarters in Santa Ana.

Hermandad Mexicana Nacional agreed to pay a $600,000 settlement, but did not admit wrongdoing.