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Court Hearings Continue For White
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Having pleaded not guilty to drug charges in Stanislaus County Court, Riverbank City Councilmember Jesses James White has refused Mayor Virginia Madueno's public request he resign and said he will remain in office until "the legal issues play out," adding that if he stepped down, the council would only chose "another puppet" to replace him.

Following his refusal to step down on June 14, Madueno with council members Sandra Benitez and Danny Fielder asked City Attorney Tom Hallinan to look into the procedure for censuring White, which would amount to a formal reprimand but would not force him from office.

Madueno said White has lost the people's confidence and is destroying the city's hard won reputation.

Meanwhile, White is proceeding through court hearings and could be forced from office if he is convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving his official duties in office.

White, 21, was arrested on May 14 during a probation search and faces a felony charge of possession of cocaine and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. Police said they found small amounts of the drugs in his apartment and vehicle during a probation search.

White has been serving three years informal misdemeanor probation since June 4 of 2007, after pleading no contest to a wet and reckless driving charge that also involved marijuana possession.

White could also be forced to resign if a recall movement headed by Riverbank Citizens For Fair Change obtains sufficient signatures to put his removal on the November ballot and wins a majority vote in that election.

Supported by his grandfather Dave White and a cousin, Lee Ulloa, Jesse James White said City Manager Rich Holmer and others want him off the council because he and his grandfather are critical of excessive government spending, especially in staff pay raises made in 2005, and have voted down a sewer rate increase.

His attorney Lynn Belsher of Modesto argued the drugs found in his home and vehicle were not his and she can prove it.