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Name: People v. Chacon
Case #: B164649
Opinion Date: 04/14/2004
Division: 4
Citation: 117 Cal.App.4th 961

Appellant was a member of city council, who was interested in becoming the city manager. She voted with other city council members to change a city ordinance which would have prohibited her from doing so. She consulted with the City Attorney before she took the appointment as city manager. In appellant’s trial for conflict of interest in violation of Government Code section 1090, the prosecution moved to exclude testimony on the defense of entrapment by estoppel, which was denied by the trial court. In light of the denial of their motion, the prosecution was unable to proceed, and dismissed the prosecution. They then filed this appeal. The appellate court found that the dismissal order was appealable, and reversed it. The state may not be estopped from prosecuting a city councilperson because the municipal attorney gave bad legal advice. To allow the defense under these circumstances would undercut the district attorney’s prosecutorial authority.