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Voice: Attorney says Press, CHP inaccurately portrayed case against company

August 07, 2001

This office represents the legal interests of Accu-Chem Conversion, Inc., with respect to certain criminal charges filed against the company and several of its employees. The article published on July 30 in the I.V. Press regarding the disposition of the charges is factually inaccurate in several respects.

The true facts are a complaint alleging 298 traffic infractions was filed against the company and several of its drivers by the Imperial County District Attorney's Office. Later, a second complaint alleging 17 violations of the California Vehicle Code was filed against the president of the company and a supervisor. After appropriate investigation and consultation, it was decided it was in the best interests of the clients to accept the plea offer proposed by the DA's office.

On July 19, Accu-Chem and several of its employees each pleaded guilty to one count of the traffic infractions. The remaining counts were dismissed. The company was fined $50,000 and the fines against the individuals ranged from $500 to $5,000. One driver was not represented by this office.


The misdemeanor complaint was amended to add the name of the company in place of the company's president as an individual. The company and the other named defendant then pleaded guilty to one count each of the misdemeanor charges. The remaining counts were dismissed.

The company and the individual were placed on five years of summary, or informal, probation, the terms of which include installation of a satellite-based tracking system for the company's trucks. The company also received a suspended fine of $17,000, all or part of which may be imposed in the event of any future violation of probation. The total amount of the fines, including the suspended fine was approximately $79,500.

It is unfortunate the I.V. Press chose not to verify these facts before publishing the article. Although the article states an attorney for the company was unavailable, I have no record or recollection of being contacted by the Press prior to the article's publication and neither does my staff. Why the California Highway Patrol chose to release a statement containing such blatant falsehoods is also unknown. The court files containing the true facts are generally public records and available to anyone who asks for them.

What is known is that because of shoddy journalism on the part of the I.V. Press, Accu-Chem and its employees have been painted in a false light. Accu-Chem and some of its employees did make some legal mistakes, which they have admitted and have accepted punishment. What they did not deserve was to be a victim of journalistic negligence.


Molina & Korten LLP


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