Ready Mix GM pleads not guilty | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ready Mix GM pleads not guilty

Griffin Rogers
griffin@tahoedailytribune.com

The general manager of Sierra-Tahoe Ready Mix, Inc., pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud Thursday at the El Dorado County Superior Court in South Lake Tahoe.

The district attorney's office is charging Wallace with four counts of fraud related to construction contracts, of which at least three are related to government projects.

Wallace said earlier this week he doesn't believe he defrauded anybody, and on Wednesday, his lawyer, Jacqueline Mittelstadt, sent out a press release stating they look forward to proving that "the allegations have been grossly exaggerated when compared to what actually occurred."

The attorney's announcement also went after the City of South Lake Tahoe for "disparaging" Wallace in a press release issued by the city in March when "the ink was barely dry" on a search warrant.

"In the past few years, the addition of new personnel at the City has taken it huge steps forward toward integrity, responsible business dealings, and a keener appreciation for the detrimental impacts its conduct can have on the citizens of this community," according to Mittelstadt's release. "This situation indicates the City still has a ways to go in that regard."

In the city's March press release, City Manager Nancy Kerry stated that reports of Ready Mix possibly issuing false or fraudulent documents related to government construction contracts was "disturbing news" for the community.

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The city release also stated authorities were brought into the case when "it was apparent that the situation would have implications for city, county and state government entities."

On Thursday, Kerry responded to Mittelstadt's recent comments.

"I think Mr. Wallace has been a good community member," Kerry said. "This is not a reflection on his status as a community member whatsoever. The district attorney's investigation that has resulted in those charges was outside the city's involvement, so I'm not familiar, actually, with the investigation and what purposes the district attorney chose to issues those charges. Our comments were related to what we knew at the time it was concerning."

Like Wallace has done in the past, Mittelstadt's release emphasized that her client's concrete mixes are "precisely computer generated" and that all of Wallace's completed work "is rigorously tested" without a negative result.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for Dec. 15.

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