Crime

John Wallace arraignment delayed to March in conflict of interest case

John Wallace, the former administrator for the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District, appearsin San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Tuesday.
John Wallace, the former administrator for the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District, appearsin San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Tuesday. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

John Wallace, the former administrator for the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District, made his first court appearance for conflict of interest charges Tuesday, but a judge continued his hearing to March.

Wallace, 73, entered no plea to two felony and two misdemeanor violations of the state Government Code pertaining to conflict of interest.

“These are serious charges, and quite distressing, but I trust our legal system,” Wallace said in a statement issued after Tuesday’s hearing. “I am confident that after the court carefully considers all the facts, my work will be judged as both responsible and honest.”

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office charged Wallace, the president of the Wallace Group in San Luis Obispo, late last month following a 10-month investigation.

District Attorney Dan Dow said at the time that Wallace made, participated in or influenced governmental decisions and made contracts in which he had a financial interest. A warrant was issued for Wallace’s arrest on Jan. 24, and he posted $20,000 bail three days later, court records show.

On Tuesday, defense attorney Jeff Stein made a general appearance for Wallace and asked that his arraignment be continued.

He is due back in court to enter a plea March 22.

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