The judge presiding over the felony case of Michael Fagen, the Long Beach City Councilman indicted in February on charges that as an elected official he illegally collected more than $14,000 in unemployment benefits, is trying to encourage a settlement in the case.
Justice William Donnino has attempted to coax a settlement of the case that would not involve a trial that is expected to start in September, according to Newsday.
Fagan was back in District Court Wednesday and is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Aug. 21.
The councilman was indicted on 38 counts of first-degree offering of a false instrument for filing, one count of third-degree grand larceny and one count of petit larceny. Fagen, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
After his indictment in February, Fagen, who was elected in 2009, was asked by his fellow Democratic City Council members to either step aside or take a leave of absence. But the councilman decided to maintain his seat.