The accused appeared before Limuru Senior Resident Magistrate Timothy ole Tanchu. The preacher, however, denied the charge of causing the death of Ms Mercy Njeri on July 26 in Manguo in Limuru, Kiambu County. He also denied charges of attempting to defeat justice and giving false information to government officers.Ng’ang’a was arrested outside Serena Hotel as he tried to ‘evade’ police dragnet and held at Traffic headquarters briefly before being moved to Gigiri police cells where he spent. Police refused to give him bail despite pleas from his lawyers Assa Nyakundi, Cliff Ombeta and his family. Kenyan Televangelist James Ng’ang’a has been arrested after he was accused of causing death by reckless driving. He is remanded at Nairobi’s Gigiri Police Station until Friday, when his application to be released on bond will be heard.
Mayoral allies Among the three board members not up for re-election, Villaraigosa can count only District 2 member Monica Garcia as a political ally. District 6 representative Julie Korenstein, a Valley board long tied to LAUSD unions, and District 4 member Marlene Canter, the board president, oppose the mayor’s efforts. Experts predict that mayoral allies Yolie Flores Aguilar and Richard Vladovic will win election in Districts 5 and 7, respectively, filling seats in which the incumbents aren’t running. That leaves the District 1 and 3 seats up for grabs, with the power of the majority at stake. Galatzan also has won the support of former Mayor Richard Riordan, who wrested control of the school board from the UTLA with his slate of candidates in 1999 and remains very popular among Valley voters. Four years ago, two of the Riordan-backed members – Genethia Hayes and board President Caprice Young – were unseated by Lauritzen and LaMotte after a well-funded blitz by the UTLA in the weeks before the election. Duffy has said the union will provide the resources needed to get Lauritzen and LaMotte re-elected. The mayor’s Community Partnership committee is also prepared to pour resources into the campaign, paying for mail and TV advertising to get Galatzan elected. “As far as resources go, Tamar Galatzan is going to have everything she needs to run an effective campaign to communicate to Valley voters why a change agent needs to be on the school board,” said her campaign manager, Mike Trujillo, whose salary is being paid by the mayor’s group. Ed Burke, Lauritzen’s campaign manager and chief of staff, promised an aggressive campaign, with support not only from the UTLA but from unions representing the LAUSD police, bus drivers and cafeteria workers. “That’s what it’ll take to win,” Burke said. “Those people are mobilized.” Another key challenge for Galatzan is to use Villaraigosa’s endorsement while persuading voters that she’s not simply his puppet, Regalado said – a problem the Riordan-backed candidates experienced in 2003. “People started to get tired by what they perceived as meddling by Riordan and his billionaire buddies, with the union targeting those candidates as puppets of the mayor and really out of step with the teachers,” Regalado said. “I can see people seeing that as a danger, especially in the Valley, of having the mayor’s backing.” Both Lauritzen and Galatzan are trying to capitalize on their ties to the Valley rather than any connection they have to downtown interests. Lauritzen was raised and educated in the Valley, taught math and computer courses at local schools and helped organize the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council. His wife and daughter are both teachers. Galatzan was also raised and schooled in the Valley, works for the City Attorney’s Office as a neighborhood prosecutor in Van Nuys and is married to the head of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association. Union influence Even though the union helped craft the mayor’s legislation Assembly Bill 1381 to assume partial control of the LAUSD and agrees philosophically on proposed reform efforts, including smaller classes and streamlining the bureaucracy, they are backing candidates different from the mayor’s in the two key races. That disconnect is primarily due to a massive push by the union’s members to endorse the incumbents. But most believe the relationship between the union and the mayor will not devolve into nasty politics and they will always work to compromise with one another. Whether he elects his entire slate of candidates or not, Regalado believes, the mayor will come out a winner, getting the cluster of schools he covets. “It’s not a winner-take-all and loser-surrenders-everything situation any longer. The mayor will gain something out of this,” Regalado said. [email protected] (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Seeing the LAUSD board as either the instrument or the obstacle to his education-reform plan, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is funding a multimillion-dollar campaign to replace two union-backed incumbents with his allies in next month’s election. Four of the board’s seven seats are up for election March 6, offering the mayor – or the powerful teachers union – a chance to secure the majority needed to push forward their individual agendas. The mayor’s Community Partnership for Better Schools is prepared to spend upward of $1 million in an effort to replace incumbent Jon Lauritzen with Tamar Galatzan, a lawyer and parent whom Villaraigosa has endorsed for the San Fernando Valley seat. Lauritzen already has gotten more than $300,000 from teachers unions and is likely to get a lot more. The mayor’s group is also expected to spend an equal amount to get Johnathan Williams elected over board member Marguerite LaMotte to represent South Los Angeles, although the mayor has not endorsed either candidate in that race. While his group is providing the funding, the mayor himself is keeping a low profile in the races to represent communities where his popularity is relatively low. “The Valley and south side of L.A. are where Mayor Villaraigosa has historically run weakest with the voting population. Because he’s still trying to gain their trust, he’s not willing to wage a pitched, high-level battle which may cost him politically in the future,” said Jaime Regalado, director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. “There’s a reality beyond school district politics at play here. It’s uphill.” Villaraigosa is looking for allies in his efforts to reform the nation’s second-largest school district, a plan that includes increasing the number of charter campuses and giving him direct control over three low-performing high schools. The 48,000-strong United Teachers Los Angeles wants to improve student achievement by working within the existing system.