Local News

Apr 14, 2010 8:54 PM by Danielle Lerner

New developments in and out of the courtroom for Ed Arnold

New developments in, and out of the courtroom as Arroyo Grande City Councilmember Ed Arnold answers to child pornography charges.

Arnold did not say much during Wednesday morning's court proceedings, but he did plead not guilty to possessing child pornography, and using a minor for pornographic purposes.

This, after investigators say he secretly videotaped a teenage girl in the shower. Arnold also faces five felony assault charges stemming from an incident that happened in December.

"I feel very good about the defense to these two charges and I told you before I spoke to him, stay tuned," said Ilan Funke-Bilu, Arnold's attorney.

Meanwhile Arnold's seat on the Arroyo Grande City Council is now in question. Tuesday night at the Arroyo Grande City Council meeting, Arnold's seat was empty as the city's mayor read from a prepared statement.

"The most recent allegations against Councilmember Arnold are extremely serious and troubling," said Mayor Tony Ferrara.

The mayor also wants the council to consider asking Arnold for his immediate resignation.

"It is clear to me that in light of these allegations, Councilmember Arnold is going to need to focus his attention on personal issues," said Ferrara.

Still, Arnold's attorney says his client has no intention of stepping down. He says his client did not attend Tuesday night's meeting for personal reasons.

"It's a political lynch mentality of the worst kind," said Funke-Bilu. "Something I've not seen in my entire life in San Luis Obispo County."

The mayor wants the council to consider that letter of resignation, along with other steps in the recall process, at its next meeting.

Arnold is due back in court May 5 for a preliminary hearing.

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