During the public comments portion of the recent City Council meeting on August 3, Zoom caller, Marlena Carrillo accused City Council of not being transparent and cited two charges against Councilmember Zahra dating back to last year. Zahra addressed the accusations during the council meeting stating that the allegations and charges against him were brought upon in the context of his contentious divorce during an incident that involved family members, including his mother who was under duress; and that he cooperated with authorities, and maintained his innocence throughout.
The Fullerton Observer followed up with Zahra for further information. The incident referred to was an altercation between Councilmember Zahra, his ex, and a friend of his ex, identified as Monica F. “I still do not know who that individual is [referring to Monica F]. My ex and his friend came to my residence while I wasn’t home, and my mother was alone. I responded to a distressed call from my mother and was trying to enter my home and tend to her. I was surprised that the police had already been called.”
Monica F. (whose identity remains unknown) made a “citizen’s arrest” against Zahra on September 20, 2020 alleging that Zahra assaulted her and broke her phone.
Police protocol during the COVID pandemic was, whenever possible, to not arrest so as to limit the exposure. Zahra was not arrested but issued a citation by Fullerton PD. The case was then filed with the Orange County DA that investigates such matters.
“I was innocent of all these charges,” Zahra said.
After the investigation concluded, the charges were dismissed by the DA and sealed by the court. In accordance with California State Law, if a person has not been convicted of a crime, they may have their record sealed by a court. “I was exonerated, but of course some have since tried to politicize this very unfortunate family matter. My case was clear-cut, but I feel for those with less clarity in their cases, that end up being hurt, in what is sometimes a difficult justice system to navigate.”