People v. Chacon
Supreme Court of California
150 P.3d 755 (2007)
Maria Chacon (defendant) was a member of the city council for the City of Bell Gardens, California. Chacon expressed an interest in becoming city manager. However, the city’s laws prevented a council member from being appointed city manager for one year after leaving the council. Arnoldo Beltran was the Bell Gardens city attorney and was tasked with providing legal advice on city business when requested by the council. Beltran drafted an ordinance abolishing the one-year waiting period. The city council, including Chacon, unanimously voted in favor of the ordinance. The city council, without Chacon, then met to select a city manager. The council appointed Chacon. In accepting the position, Chacon resigned from the city council. Beltran approved of Chacon’s employment contract. Chacon was charged with violation of Government Code § 1090, which prohibited certain government officials from being financially interested in contracts entered into by an agency of which the official was a member. The charge alleged that Chacon had an improper financial interest in her employment contract. Chacon raised the defense of entrapment by estoppel and intended to show that Chacon relied on Beltran’s advice that the employment contract was legal. Beltran was prepared to testify that Beltran advised Chacon on the legality of the ordinance abolishing the waiting period and the employment contract. When the court ruled in limine that it would allow Chacon to present the entrapment-by-estoppel defense, the prosecution declined to proceed, and the case was dismissed. The court of appeal reversed the trial court’s ruling on the entrapment-by-estoppel defense on the ground that Beltran lacked the authority to bind the state to an incorrect interpretation of the conflict-of-interest statutes. Chacon appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Corrigan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.