By Carlos Alcalá
Former Placerville Mayor Dave Machado pleaded guilty today in El Dorado Superior Court to one felony and two misdemeanors in connection with charges related to his property dealings in the city.
Under a plea agreement, Machado will serve no jail time, and the felony count will be held in abeyance for the duration of probation. He was fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 960 hours of community service.
Machado's attorney read a statement in court, in which the former mayor admitted wrongdoing and stipulated that there was a factual basis for the charges he pleaded guilty to.
However, he later spoke to The Bee in a Main Street historic building he plans to renovate for mixed use and said the pleas were a decision to save $40,000 to $50,000 in a trail.
"I thought I would beat them, but you never know with a jury," he said.
"At the end of the day, it's two misdemeanors," Machado said. "They want credit for making me resign."
Machado, 54, had been under a legal cloud since the El Dorado County District Attorney had him arrested and jailed briefly in August, when Machado was still Mayor.
Following that, his council colleagues removed him as mayor, but he was legally entitled to remain on the council. He resigned from the council Tuesday.
Machado was suspected of perjury and conspiracy for actions he took in connection with properties he owned in Placerville.
The August criminal complaint was followed by an October grand jury indictment that added new charges, also connected to his property dealings.
The district attorney had accused him of disguising ownership of a property within the city's redevelopment zone, performing work without permits, building a structure without permits and trying to cover up the presence of unpermitted floor heaters after a fire.
Bee photo by Renée C. Byer: Under his plea agreement, former Placerville Mayor David Machado, seen in front of one of the buildings he owns, will serve no jail time. Machado this week resigned from the City Council. His felony conviction will be withdrawn if he completes three years of probation, pays a $5,000 fine and performs 960 hours of community service.