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Councilman Spicer Apologizes for Criminal Past

Interim Councilman Larry Spicer acknowledged several criminal convictions and said he hopes to continue to serve on the City Council as many community members came to his defense.

Interim Councilman Larry Spicer apologized Tuesday to the City Council and community for not being forthcoming about his criminal history and said he hoped to continue to serve on the council.

Spicer said a conviction for driving under the influence and a "credit card violation" had been expunged from his record.

"Some 30 years ago I made mistakes that I am not proud of," Spicer said, explaining that he did not disclose those convictions because they were expunged in 1992.

Spicer said he had turned his life around and completed a counseling program after a misdemeanor battery conviction 14 years ago. Spicer pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery in 1998 as part of a plea arrangement where prosecutors agreed to drop domestic abuse and child abuse charges, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.

"The incidents involving my daughter and spouse were reduced to a lesser charge," Spicer said. "My past has allowed me to become a better person, a better spouse, a better father, and it groomed me to be a mentor and a community servant."

Spicer said he hopes to continue to serve on the City Council.

"Yes, I made some poor choices but I have worked continuously to atone for those choices and hope this council and community will allow me to continue to serve."

Several community members spoke in defense of Spicer following his remarks, including former Mayor Bob Bartlett.

"I know him to be a good man and a good father," Bartlett said.

Bartlett asked Councilman Tom Adams if he still thought Spicer should resign following . Adams responded, "No I don't, actually."

"I appreciate Mr. Spicer's comments this evening, and I accept that apology," Adams said, adding that he believes Spicer should have acknowledged his past transgressions sooner.

Duarte Councilwoman Lois Gaston also praised Spicer's work in the community, saying that he's worked with neighbors to improve neighborhoods with little fanfare.

"I would not want to be on the front line in any battle more than I would want to be with Larry," Gaston said. "People can fall down and still get up and be productive."

Spicer's criminal history was first mentioned by comments made by neighbors at a May City Council meeting when they accused Spicer of . Spicer did not address those allegations in his remarks Tuesday.

After public comments, Councilman Joe Garcia credited Spicer for apologizing and said he hopes the city will move past the issue.

"Nobody’s perfect. I think we all understand that," Garcia said. "I do know that he has done a lot of good in this community."

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz echoed Garcia's sentiments.

"We all need to be forgiven," she said. "All of us need to forgive."

Gayle M. Montgomery July 04, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Mr. Spicer falling on his sword and rendering a mea culpa was welcome. It was good to see Bob, Betty (whom I know both), and Lois speak passionately on his behalf. I'm hoping that some part of the rancor can be set aside, though I did not feel from Mrs. Spicer's remarks that would be coming out of her front porch any time soon. The criminal record was admitted to. It was expunged, according to Spicer and his attorney, which said, I did the crime, I paid the dime, or did the time, now make it go away from the public record. Many are not in a position financially to be able to do such things, though I do not begrudge Mr. Spicer for taking such steps. But there were two issues tonight, and only one was addressed. As was commented upon on the other blog on this topic by one of his neighbors, there are allegations of both bullying and racism, and the term "white beyotches" (I'm cleaning it up for the Patch) have reportedly been volleyed. These actions cannot be cottoned. The Council decided to applaud Spicer for his current transparency, though the record showed it was not soon in coming had it not appeared here. Whether the bullying and racism are real, as claim the neighbors, or imaginary, as claim the Spicer, neutral, third-party mediation involving a group that crosses the multi-racial divide are in order. It's going to be a hot summer. I do not want to see this explode. As a (grand)parent, I would hope these racially divisive comments are not being made and resolved.
Carmen Martinez July 04, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Gayle, the fact that Mr. Spicer does not want to address the neighbors' issues makes it a one sided argument. Mr. & Mrs. Spicer have been family friends for the last 30 years. There are no racially divisive issues other than what one neighbor is saying. The record is expunged, that means that no one should have brought it up. I know people that have had their record expunged and they are not financially well-off. There is a political undercurrent that we are continuing to feed when we continue to stir the pot.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 04, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Carmen, I know you are fond of the Spicers and know them personally. Just because they do not want to address publicly the allegations of racism and the very vile name calling does not mean that these things are not happening. There are two issues to address. The first is the historical record which has been brought to the light, explained, and for all intents and purposes, forgiven. Penance has been made and the record expunged. But there are the current issues of bullying the neighbors and saying things that are not in keeping with the leadership capacity. Racism is not appropriate. I'm not going to say it does not exist, I am saying is not ok to be calling people racial names especially when you sit on the City Council. I don't care about the political undercurrent. What I do care about is living in a neighborhood where people of all colors, abilities/inabilities, education, and wealth or lack thereof can come together in harmony. By failing to address this concern, it continues to foment because we then have a disenfranchised segment of our society that feels oppressed by people in power.
Steve Buckner July 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM
The only people that ever said anything about the color of there skin was the African Americans that spoke. One even said that she is lighter skined than larry, as you can see. I see people not color. Some just need to point this out, like we cant tell if you are black, white, green or yellow. What would it sound like if I went up there and said, I am whiter than him.
Craig Covell July 04, 2012 at 04:53 PM
We as residents have the right to expect the highest standards from our officals, elected or appointed. It is clear that Mr. Spicer does not have the standards that we should expect. He replaced someone (Clarence Shaw) on an interm basis, that holds those high standards. Mr. Spicer should not serve us, we deserve someone much better. I expect the council to require him to step down and do the right thing.
Monique Tully July 04, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Well wasnt it nice Mr. Spicer apologized to the council for hiding his past . When will he apologize to the neighbors he has bullied ?? Hmmm I have a question ?? So when you go to anger management for abuse then your cured ?? Never again to have anger issues? So Larry wouldnt the right thing be to step down and then maybe all this would be out of the public eye?
SgtJackWagon July 04, 2012 at 11:29 PM
First of all before many people read this article, it should be brought to the attention of all that will view this and primarily to the attention of the "PATCH" that in paragraph three (3) there is a mistake that needs correction in my opinion. It is the paragraph the begins with.........."some thirty years ago I made mistakes that I am not proud of," Spicer said, explaining that (he did) disclose those convictions because they were expunged in 1992." I believe that it should read........."explaining that he (did not) disclose these convictions because they were expunged in 1992." It's a small detail, but very much something that might sway public opinion if the meaning is construed by the reader. If I am mistaken please let me know and we will go from there.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 04, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Sgt Jack, there were a number of alleged crimes initially reported. Some included crimes of domestic violence and child abuse. The life of the marriage to date appears to be 20 years. There was also a reported DUI and something about credit card fraud. I do not know the exact window in which these were alleged to have transpired. This may be the 30 years of which he referenced.
Dan Crandell July 05, 2012 at 07:05 AM
I watched and listened closely as Larry Spicer "apologized". In my opinion he should step down now. The people of Monrovia do not need his baggage at city hall. No one is perfect and this man is shocking proof of that stupid, overused and irrelevant statement as made by many of those back patters presenting their opinions. Imperfect people can be honest people and we want honest people on our council. Larry Spicer is not an honest person and I believe the many stories of his neighborhood problems are true. Glad he is not one of my neighbors.
SgtJackWagon July 05, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Maybe a little cliche' will be able to sum up this entire situation. "I trust everyone. I just don't trust the devil inside them."
Lorraine grindstaff July 05, 2012 at 09:41 PM
California Penal Code Section 1203.4(a)(1) regarding orders of expungement provides is part: "The order shall state, and the probationer shall be informed, that the order does not relieve him or her of the obligation to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery Commission." Was there a direct question contained in a questionnaire or application for City Council regarding Councilman Spicer's convictions? If there was not, then the argument can be made that he was under no obligation to reveal any expunged conviction he was not directly asked about. If he was asked the direct question and stated that he had no convictions, then the issue gets a little murkier. While I know many people incorrectly believe that there are no circumstances under which they are required to disclose expunged convictions, the fact remains that the order itself gives written notice of the exact circumstances under which such matters must be disclosed. And while I understand that no one would ever want to disclose a past criminal conviction, being appointed or elected to public office with the public scrutiny that accompanies those positions is probably not the best time to not be completely forthcoming. Full disclosure, even when painful or embarrassing, is generally preferable to being perceived as dishonest.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 05, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Lorraine, you make a very valid point regarding expungement. Thank you. I have indicated heretofore there must be thorough vetting of any and all candidates for public office, whether self-nominating and elected or appointed. Can someone in the City provide copies of documents signed in this regard or any forms that may have used to know if there was a material misrepresentation of the facts? It may be something the Councilperson forgot or was not made aware, but ignorance of the law, as they say, is no excuse. There had to be documents signed upon him taking office. FOIA would probably produce them, but I would hate to see it go this far.
Bill Beebe July 06, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I left a post earlier about the above topic that after reading it i felt it didn't convey what I had intended. I just deleted it - thankful that I could. So in the future I plan to treat all things written more carefully - whether I write something or I am reading it. The modern fast paced age is good for getting the word out about an event or emergency. But it is also a double edge sword if not used with care. Today I didn't use the forum properly and for that I am sorry. Word to the wise to those who post, be considerate when attacking an issue that you don't also attack the person behind the issue. We should put ourselves in their shoes awhile. Today for a moment, I forgot that. Won't happen again!
Dan Crandell July 06, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Bill when a person is" the issue" I refuse to put their shoes on. Larry is a endless distraction to the flow of business in this city. Why should this be allowed to continue? It will.if he does not step down. My opinion is not mean-spirited.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 06, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Bill, thank you for the maturity involved in your postings. For some of us, this is a double-edged sword. It is right and honorable that a person would step up and backfill a position in support of another, especially when that person is serving overseas. It is right and honorable that the person put the City's business and that of its citizens to the forefront. For those things, I am grateful. That said, we have two issues here as I have explained. The failure to disclose, whether required or not required, for me, is the secondary issue. What we have is abuse of power allegations vis a vis threatening code violations with someone with whom he does not seemingly agree, reports of bullying, and even more heinously, cries of racism including using a racially derogatory term, something that should not insert itself into our City. Anger management is a good tool. But it is like alcoholism, drug addiction, or food addiction. It is a battle constantly fought. One may have the tools or forget them or forget to use them. In leadership, one must rise above. We appeased the calls for Mr. Spicer to do something else as a result of the allegations bandied and proven true. What has yet to be resolved is the neighborhood bullying. I call on Dr. Dillard or Bob Bartlett or Lois Gaston, someone from the Hispanic Community, and a strong White Female (since these were all expressed) to intercede and mediation be brought to that block. It is only right and fair.
Peridot Pearl April 10, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Whether expunged or not, it remains on your record forever. The "state" has forgiven your infractions but humans don't usually have the same mercy. Esp. when it comes to a job. Further, any arrest record will NEVER go away. Considering politicians are subject to people like Gloria Allred making up lies or finding things they did as small children to destroy they, it's best to come clean with every details up front.
Peridot Pearl April 10, 2013 at 05:40 PM
With all this angst how did he get elected? And what is the garbage about Robert Parry being a white supremest? Who started that evil rumor, I wonder.
Lori Dowling May 01, 2013 at 07:54 PM
No matter how you slice and dice it the fact is Larry Spicer was arrested for and charged with child abuse, which he subsequently plead down. You can wrap it up with a big shiny bow but he was charged with child abuse! I tried to speak with Mr. Spicer about this charge but found it oddly disturbing when he began our chat by asking 'are you recording this call'. Not hardly Mr. Spicer, my phone is so old it's as if Mr. Bell had delivered it to me personally. If indeed, Larry truely wanted to speak to people as he'd proferred earlier, why not do so. It seemed that when my questions got tough, Mr. Spicer couldn't get off the phone fast enough. How do you respond in this day and age to his explanation of his actions with "didn't your parents beat the blankety blank out of you?" How about not at all! To minimise this charge, even if you are a Mr. Spicer supporter, is just wrong! My question remains unanswered - how could our City Council select an individual with a criminal past without investigation and full disclosure to their constituency? Sure Larry was then voted in but would he have been if all had been truly transparent?

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