Two Court Cases of Public Officials in Coachella Valley Remain Unresolved

Court Cases of Public Officials Remain Unsettled

Rubén Pérez

Court Cases of Public Officials Remain Unsettled

Cástulo Estrada Real

COACHELLA — After more than a year, a pair of court cases involving Coachella Valley public officials, College of the Desert Area 1 Trustee Rubén Pérez and Coachella Valley Water District Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada Real, are still unresolved, according to the District Attorney’s office.

For Pérez, a judge on Thursday ordered a mandatory settlement conference. It is set for May 15 at 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 3S in the Larson Justice Center.

When there are issues you cannot resolve initially by agreement, parties can request a Settlement Conference and Trial. Parties are required to participate in a Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) prior to conducting a trial.

An MSC is a meeting of the parties as part of a case resolution plan. The purpose of the MSC is for the parties to discuss the disputed issues and facts of the case in an effort to resolve their matter by agreement. On the day of the MSC, the parties will either reach a settlement agreement and begin the process of filing a Judgment with the Court to finalize their case, or, if no agreement can be reached, the Court will determine if another MSC is needed, or set the matter for a Trial Readiness Conference (TRC).

Officers of the La Quinta Police Department arrested Pérez on Feb. 10, 2023, for driving under the influence at 12:49 a.m. at Avenue 52 and SilverRock Way in La Quinta. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf in December. A trial readiness conference was set for today, March 7.

According to authorities familiar with the incident, Pérez was in the opposite lane of vehicle traffic flow, with his lights off and allegedly passed out. His blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit, according to those familiar with the incident.

He has apologized for the incident.

Also Thursday, a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Coachella Valley Water District Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada Real was continued to May 17 at 10:30 a.m. in Dept. 2K of the Larson Justice Center.

Real was arrested Jan. 23 for driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher.

Estrada Real is also charged with hit and run property damage. The charge stems from the same date. He was cited for DUI at the intersection of Calle Chillon and Avenida Navarro in La Quinta.



Image Sources

  • Ruben Perez booking photo: RSO
  • Court gavel arraignment: Jennifer Horwitz Law