A longtime aide to Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon was charged Friday with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for allegedly running down a pedestrian while driving a city vehicle in North Hollywood in March.
Manuel Figueras, 50, is accused in the March 14 death of 55-year-old Gary Woodford, who was struck while crossing Vineland Avenue at Erwin Street about 7:30 p.m.
Figueras is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 17. The District Attorney's Office originally declined to file any charges against Figueras, referring the matter to the city attorney for consideration of misdemeanor charges.
Due to Figueras' job in Alarcon's office, the City Attorney's Office declared a conflict of interest, referring the issue back to the D.A.'s office.
County prosecutors described Woodford as a transient, but the Daily News, citing an obituary notice published in Ohio, reported in March that Woodford worked as a foreman at C&S Propeller in Burbank.
Figueras was driving a city-owned 2003 Toyota Prius when Woodford was struck, according to prosecutors. Police told the Daily News in March that Figueras remained at the scene and had not been drinking.
Prosecutors will ask at Figueras' arraignment that his bail be set at $25,000. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted.
Alarcon said he received word of the charge and was taking the situation seriously and consulting the city's Personnel Department about the appropriate personnel action.
"I would again like to express my deep condolences to the family and friends of Gary Woodford, who died as a result of this accident,'' Alarcon said. "As Manny's boss and friend, I can attest that he is beloved by the community. Manny has served the people of the Northeast San Fernando Valley for nearly 20 years with distinction, compassion and concern. "Without further information, I view this as a tragic accident and I am deeply saddened for all involved."