Two city council staff members arrested for DUI in separate incidents

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Arraignment was postponed today for one of two Los Angeles City Council staff members arrested in separate weekend incidents for allegedly driving under the influence.

Fredy Ceja, 36, a spokesman for First District City Councilman Gil
Cedillo, was arrested at 12:06 a.m. Saturday at Sixth and Spring streets in
downtown Los Angeles.

He is now scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, according to a Superior
Court spokeswoman.

According to the City Attorney’s Office, Ceja is charged with driving
under the influence with a prior DUI conviction and driving with a blood-
alcohol level exceeding 0.08 with a prior DUI conviction, both misdemeanors.
Both charges include an enhancement of refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol
test.

He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

A Los Angeles Police Department source told the Los Angeles Times that
Ceja’s car collided with a Metro bus.

Cedillo’s chief of staff, Arturo Chavez, said Ceja was cited for DUI
during his off-work hours while using his personal vehicle, but declined to
comment further, calling it a personnel matter.

Also on Saturday, Fredy Torres, 27, a field deputy for Eighth District
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, was arrested about 1:15 a.m. on suspicion
misdemeanor DUI at 43rd Street and McKinley Avenue, according to the LAPD. He
posted $15,000 bail and was released around noon that day, according to jail
records.

Torres was driving a city-issued car when he was arrested, according to
the councilman’s office.

Torres has been placed on leave, according to Harris-Dawson’s chief of
staff, Solomon Rivera.

“As soon as we became aware of the incident involving Fredy Torres,
Council member Harris-Dawson directed staff to reach out to LAPD and then the
city Personnel Department to express his concern and commit our office’s full
cooperation. We have placed Torres on leave while this matter is being
investigated,” he said.

Records cited by The Times suggest Ceja and Torres may have had earlier
brushes with law.

A man matching Ceja’s name and date of birth was arrested by the LAPD
near the southbound 101 Freeway in December 2009 on suspicion of driving under
the influence, according to jail records reviewed by The Times. He was later
charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving, and
he pleaded no contest in 2010 to reckless driving, according to court records.

At a May 3, 2010, sentencing, he was given 36 months probation and 30 days in
L.A. County Jail, according to court records.

In 2006, a man matching Ceja’s name and date of birth pleaded no contest
to driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to six days in
L.A. County Jail, according to court records cited by The Times. In 2003, a man
matching Ceja’s birth date and name pleaded no contest to driving under the
influence of alcohol and was sentenced to a three-year probation term, the
newspaper reported.

A man matching Torres’ name and date of birth was charged with public
intoxication in 2009, but the charge was later dismissed, according to court
records cited by The Times.

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Two city council staff members arrested for DUI in separate incidents
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Two city council staff members arrested for DUI in separate incidents
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Arraignment was postponed today for one of two Los Angeles City Council staff members arrested in separate weekend incidents for allegedly driving under the influence.
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