An effort to dismiss charges in a long-standing case against retired San Mateo County Sheriff's deputy Juan Pablo Lopez fell short on Thursday (Jan. 9) when Superior Court Judge Danny Chou ruled against a defense motion in the case.
Chou also dismissed three motions from Lopez's attorney Tony Serra to suppress evidence from searches that were conducted of Lopez's home and car, Serra said in a phone interview.
Lopez ran as a write-in candidate for county sheriff against his boss, now-retired sheriff Greg Munks, in 2014, and Serra has said the current charges and other charges in the case that were previously dismissed were made in retaliation for Lopez's ballot-box challenge to Munks, the predecessor to current Sheriff Carlos Bolanos.
Lopez still faces three counts of mortgage fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, one count of filing a false declaration of candidacy, and one count of voting where he was not entitled to vote.
A trial date has been set for April 13, the eighth trial setting in the case.
The trial may be continued again until July, if Serra is busy with the Ghost Ship trial in Oakland, in which he is representing defendant Derik Almena, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Lopez remains out on $170,000 bail.
Serra has also filed a complaint against William Massey, an investigator from the county District Attorney's Office, for allegedly carrying on a personal vendetta against Lopez.
According to the complaint, Massey disclosed confidential information about Lopez to unauthorized parties with the intent of influencing people who supported Lopez's 2014 run for sheriff before directing a criminal investigation of Lopez, his fiance and their supporters.
"Senior Inspector Massey's described conduct calls into question not only his trustworthiness as a neutral investigator but the legitimacy of his investigation into my client," Serra wrote in the complaint addressed to Wagstaffe. "In short, he has tainted and contaminated the legitimacy of those investigations."