The Coast News Group
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Fragozo pleads not guilty to felony counts

VISTA — Embattled Escondido Union School District Trustee Jose Fragozo pleaded not guilty to 13 felony counts Thursday in Superior Court.

Fragozo did not speak in court, although his attorney Victor Torres did enter the plea on his client’s behalf.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges earlier this week alleging Fragozo does not reside in his district. He was elected four years ago from District 3, which the DA’s office accuses Fragozo of falsifying his residence in order to be elected.

Torres made a brief statement to reporters after the hearing, but did not take questions.

“Mr. Fragozo has plead not guilty to these allegations,” he said. “It’s unfortunate and he’s very disappointed that public money is being spent on this kind of investigation. We believe this will lead to a full exoneration and he looks forward to his day in court, and that I believe, is where all the evidence will be heard.”

Fragozo is scheduled to appear March 9 in Superior Court for a readiness hearing, which is to determine if a deal has been agreed, or if the case will move forward. Fragozo is also scheduled for a two-day preliminary hearing beginning March 23.