Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shakespeare By the Sea?

The specific play would be "Much Ado About Nothing" and it's an evil tale of friendship betrayed! Theft! Grand larceny!

"What?" you say? "In sleepy little Redondo Beach?" Nay, good sir, it is a neighbor of ours -- a clearly not-so-sleepy small town called Hawthorne.

Larry Guidi (GW-eedy) has been Hawthorne's mayor for the past 17 years. Today he was ordered to make an appearance in the Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles on December 16 for arraignment. Good heavens! Did he, like the denizens of Bell, CA, outrageously overpay himself? Er, not exactly.

He allegedly stole a commercial food mixer from an elementary school in the august City of Hawthorne! Statements vary as to the worth of said item. Guidi's lawyer claims it was worthless due to being some 30 years old, rusty, dirty and anyhow, it hadn't been used by the school for the past eight years. But wait! Anna Apoian, food supervisor for the district, claims that the Hobart A200 20-quart mixer could have been sold for $1,350 and the push cart it was on was worth between $50 to $100.

Guidi was caught on video surveillance taking both items (after allegedly "hiding" it in a storage facility by covering it with a black plastic bag) and putting them on his truck.

And who was the desperado who ratted him out and caused cameras to be used? His former best friend who worked directly for him at the school district -- Louis Velez. Guidi helped Velez get elected to the City Council in 2003, but Velez resigned in 2008 over accusations of conflict-of-interest when he rented a house from a local developer while also voting on the developers city contracts.

The theft occured last March; by April, Guidi was saying that, yes, he took it and moved it to a storehouse. But Velez testified as to a possible motive. He reported that he's seen Guidi's backyard pizza oven and remembers that Guidi told him he'd bought a food mixer to make pizza dough, but that Guidi also said it was too small. Velez added, "He makes a lot of pizzas for his family." And under his breath he might possibly have muttered, "Vengeance!"

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