Friday, October 3, 2008
Long Beach Attorney Pleads Not Guilty to Embezzling From Legal Group
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
A Long Beach attorney charged with embezzling over $26,000 from the Black Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles entered a plea of not guilty yesterday morning.
LaJetta Wright, 41, is accused of misusing funds during her term as treasurer for the organization in 2004, and was charged with one count of grand theft in case No. BA346124.
Her attorney, Donald Wager, said “the money in dispute was restored over three years ago…we have nothing else to say.”
Wright declined to comment.
She was released on her own recognizance under promise to appear for a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 11 before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David M. Horwitz, Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett of the Justice System Integrity Division said.
If convicted as charged, Wright faces a maximum prison sentence of three years.
The State Bar of California filed disciplinary charges against Wright in September 2006, and ordered a one-year suspension in August 2007.
Wright is enrolled in the alternative discipline program, which the organization said is “designed to address the substance abuse and mental health problems of attorneys against whom formal disciplinary proceedings have been initiated in the State Bar Court.”
She attended California State University, Dominguez Hills and the University of West Los Angeles Law School before being admitted to the bar in 2000. Wright served as recording secretary for the BWLA’s Los Angeles chapter prior to becoming the organization’s treasurer.
Officials of BWLA would not, or could not be reached for, comment.
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