I buttonholed Vega during a break. I asked him, considering his current legal situation, how could he justify continuing to vote on city business effecting contributors to his campaign?Vega made a three-pronged defense. First, Vega said, he does not remember all his campaign contributors, and that he considered his legal duty merely to be to record all his contributors and file the records with the state "as the law requires". He did not respond when I reminded him Fulop and Matsikoudis had just discussed the contributions before the vote.Second, Vega said the contributions were too old to matter. "When did they occur? That's important," he said. He meant that the money changed hands before a strong anti-pay-to-play ordinance was approved by the council a week after Vega and others were arrested for extortion.Third, when I pressed Vega on his legal situation and if it should preclude him from at least some council votes, he asked me what I meant. I said I meant that he was under an indictment based on taped evidence for accepting cash bribes from a secret witness. Vega said he pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained his innocence. He told me that when he became a councilman, he took an oath to the Constitution and that the Constitution provides for the presumption of innocence.
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