Former district attorney Paul Zellerbach pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor vandalism stemming from the campaign sign controversy that took place while he was running for re-election against newly elected District Attorney Mike Hestrin.
Zellerbach will receive one year summary probation, an $800 fine, 60 hours of community service and a $200 restitution fine, according to court records.
The investigation began in April of 2014 when cell phone video surfaced, showing Zellerbach and one of his managers tearing down a campaign sign belonging to Zellerbach’s opponent in the D.A.’s race, Mike Hestrin.
The investigation gained momentum when surveillance video was released showing Zellerbach removing one of Hestrin’s campaign signs and replacing it with one of his own.
Mike Hestrin just went through the swearing-in process to become Riverside County’s new district attorney at a public ceremony that was held in Riverside on Monday, January 5.
News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 received a statement from the Indio Police Department Thursday afternoon.
Chief of Police Richard P. Twiss said in the statement, “I’m proud of our staff that maintained the integrity of this investigation and followed the law. The detail of their facts and findings presented a complete and comprehensive complaint filing to the California Attorney General’s Office. The California Attorney General’s Office’s determination to file a charge and a subsequent plea of No Contest to misdemeanor vandalism validates the integrity of our criminal investigation.”