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White Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor Count
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Answering in court on Friday, May 6 to drug possession charges, Riverbank City Council member Jesse James White, 22, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count and thus avoided trial on a felony charge where a conviction would have forced him off the council.

Three council members, however, have pressed ahead with filing a lawsuit to have him removed from the council on the grounds he violated state election law when he allegedly failed to register as a Riverbank voter before he filed papers as a candidate in July of 2008.

White's plea on May 6 cancels a trial slated to start May 16. Originally charged more than a year ago with felony cocaine possession and two misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession, White admitted only misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, an admission that could be erased if he attends drug counseling and successfully completes 18 months probation.

White's longtime friend T.J. Soto, 21, of Modesto stated in court papers the marijuana and cocaine that sheriff's deputies found in White's apartment and vehicle belonged to him, not White.

White and his attorney Mary Lynn Belsher at the time accused City Manager Rich Holmer, Police Chief Bill Pooley and Sheriff Adam Christianson of framing White when deputies reported finding drugs during a probation search.

White was on probation after pleading no contest in June of 2007 to "a wet and reckless" driving count that involved alcohol.