A frequent City Hall critic who was arrested after submitting a public-meeting comment card containing Ku Klux Klan imagery and a racial slur pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disturbing-the-peace charge and agreed to destroy a variety of weapons and ammunition, the City Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday.Wayne Spindler, a 47-year-old lawyer who lives in Encino, reached the plea deal Friday, agreeing to destroy three handguns, some ammunition, an assault rifle and five ammunition magazine clips.
Charges of illegally possessing an assault rifle and illegal possession of the magazine clip were dropped, according to city prosecutors.
Spindler had been facing up to a year in jail if he had been convicted of the misdemeanor weapons-related charges. He was sentenced to a $200 fine and one day in county jail, but both were waived due to the eight hours he spent in police custody after being arrested, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
Spindler, who could not be immediately reached for comment, is a regular speaker during public comment periods at City Council and Police Commission meetings. He frequently uses vulgar or racist language, sometimes wears a KKK mask or speaks through a puppet, and has been kicked out of numerous meetings after council members accused him of being disruptive while in the audience.
Spindler was arrested in May 2016 after submitting the comment card with the racial slur and KKK imagery during a committee meeting chaired by Council President Herb Wesson.
Wesson, who is black, said he took the card as a threat and Spindler was arrested two days later on a felony charge of making a criminal threat, although the District Attorney’s Office decided in December not to press any charges.
Wesson obtained a temporary restraining order against Spindler, requiring the attorney to surrender all firearms in his possession to the Los Angeles Police Department. Among the four weapons Spindler turned in was a Norinco 56S-1 Category 1 Assault Rifle, which is a variant of the Russian AK- 47, a weapon illegal for unregistered possession in the state of California since 1991, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for City Attorney Mike Feuer, said none of the weapons Spindler turned in were registered to him, and added, “As more evidence was discovered we found it unlikely that we could prevail on the possession charge.”
Wilcox did not elaborate on why the gun charges were dropped.
In January, Spindler filed a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming his civil rights had been violated when he was arrested.
The restraining order Wesson received against Spindler is still active, although it allows him to continue to speak at public meetings even if Wesson is present.
— City News Service
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