The motion to dismiss criminal charges against Joe Aklufi was denied.
In a brief hearing, Friday, Jan. 26, Judge Mac Fisher ruled that Aklufi’s motion that he should have received another opportunity to waive his rights to speedy hearing is not supported. Aklufi argued that the failure to offer this second chance to waive his rights should result in dismissal of all charges against him.
A preliminary hearing for Aklufi, who was charged with six counts of embezzlement, is scheduled for Feb. 22.
On Jan. 2, Aklufi’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges for public corruption and embezzlement from the city of Beaumont. They argued that on Aug. 9, 2016, when the District Attorney’s office filed the first amended complaint, Aklufi had a right to waive or not waive his rights to a speedy hearing and he was denied this choice. Just because he waived them on May 17, 2016 when the original complaint and charges were filed, this action did not hold for the amended complaint, their argument went.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office obviously disputed this argument. It rebuttal noted that Aklufi did not object to delaying hearing in the fall of 2016 when other motions were filed. He first raised this issue in March 2017 after the other defendants had agreed to the continuance.
However, the Court “concluded that good cause supported continuing the preliminary hearing over [Aklufi’s] objection based on the co-defendants’ requests.”
By November 2017, the other six defendants had pleaded guilty to multiple charges and agreed to pay fines totaling more than $12 million. In the initial filing, the District Attorney claimed more than $43 million had been taken from the city during the 1990s.
Aklufi is the former Idyllwild Water District legal counsel.