REDWOOD CITY -- A former Clayton official convicted of felony embezzlement skipped his sentencing hearing Monday because he is vacationing with family, his attorney told the court.
San Mateo County Judge Jonathan Karesh previously warned former Clayton vice mayor Joe Medrano, who is free on bail, to be prepared to go to jail Monday, but when he failed to show up at 9 a.m., Karesh issued a no-bail arrest warrant for him.
More than an hour after the hearing, Karesh agreed to hold the warrant until a rescheduled sentencing hearing at 10 a.m. Friday.
His attorney, Matt Oliveri, said Medrano chose to go on vacation after a court clerk on Wednesday said the hearing had been vacated. A clerk for Karesh called Friday and said that wasn't so, but Medrano was already gone and did not respond to calls, text messages and emails from his attorney.
In October, a jury found Medrano, an insurance broker, guilty of taking $159,000 from one of his clients and never forwarding the money to an insurance company. Instead, Medrano deposited the money into his own account. He faces up to four years in prison.
Prosecutors have urged Karesh to give Medrano the maximum penalty for his crime, arguing that he has never shown remorse or apologized to his victims.
Medrano's attorneys, who have asked for probation for their client, say he has already suffered enough. Medrano lost his City Council seat, his insurance broker license and his business as a result of his conviction. He resigned from the City Council in October and was not re-elected in November.
David DeBolt covers Concord and Clayton. Contact him at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.