Criminal Justice Reform is a huge topic and an important issue with bi-partisan support. The worst of the worst is not the civilian criminal, rather a criminal entrusted with power, only to use that power to torture others. Matthew Funicello (dob 12/19/1981) was charged with brutally beating a defenseless black teenager, while the nineteen year-old teen was handcuffed, in the back of Funicello’s police vehicle.
According to reports from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, “Funicello was transporting the inmate from the sheriff’s station in Palmdale to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles on July 22, 2011.” Funicello reportedly punched the inmate several times during the trip.
After pleading no-contest to the egregious crime, Funicello then started the Conservative Action Group along with Dave Goss. Local Hart School Board member, Joe Messina, started out as an admin and now moderates the group. Goss sits on the oversight committee for a Bond that benefits Messina’s main campaign contributor.
Felony Count of Assault Under Color of Authority
Funicello was initially charged with a felony count of assault under color of authority. The charge should have resulted in a three-year jail term, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor in exchange for the deputy’s plea. “The deputy struck the inmate several times in the face and torso with his fist,” said Jean Guccione, a Los Angeles District Attorney’s spokeswoman.
The College of the Canyons has apparently hired Funicello as a “Campus Safety Officer.” A number of residents have expressed concern and disgust in asking how and why he would be working with young adults.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Jane Robison, Los Angeles County district attorney’s spokeswoman said, “Matthew John Funicello, 31, was placed on three years’ probation and ordered to complete one year of counseling.”
Officers Charged with Felony Assault Often Avoid Jail Time with Negotiated Plea Deals
Funicello was not only arrested, he was terminated, and accepted the plea deal to avoid three years of incarceration. He utilized his “connections” to get off without any jail time.
According to Police One, “Officers charged with felony assault often avoided jail time when they negotiated plea deals with prosecutors rather than risk a trial, according to a Times review of court and district attorney records. In 2013, for example, Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew John Funicello was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to undergo counseling after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of assault under color of authority. Funicello, who was originally charged with a felony, had been accused of punching a 19-year-old man several times.”
The Times reports, “Funicello, a deputy since 2006, was immediately placed on leave without pay after his April arrest, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore previously told The Times. Whitmore said Monday that an internal affairs investigation into the deputy would begin now that the matter was settled in court. Funicello was riding with another deputy and two inmates in a car at the time of the incident. Prosecutors declined to file charges against the other deputy, though Whitmore said in April that he was being investigated by internal affairs. The investigation into the incident began after a citizen complaint, Whitmore said, adding that the department had been unaware of the incident until then.”
Because Felony Assault Was Reduced, Funicello Then Later Requested Expungement Per Penal Code Section 1203.4
Funicello later had the conviction expunged; a California law allows most defendants to expunge their convictions upon successful completion of probation. Disclosure – Granting of this petition does NOT relieve Funicello of the obligation to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office.
Provided By Funicello’s Vice President of the Conservative Action Group, Dave Goss: