Pre-Trial Set for Berkeley Rent Board Member Accused of Living in Oakland

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday January 29, 2008

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Member Chris Kavanagh, facing seven felony counts stemming from allegations that his real home is in Oakland and not Berkeley as he has claimed, was back in court on Thursday. 

The court set two more hearing dates for Kavanagh: a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 7 and a preliminary hearing on Feb. 22, according to Deputy District Attorney Trevor White.  

“There have been discussions between his attorney and myself” outside the courtroom, White told the Planet, declining to elaborate.  

Kavanagh’s attorney, James Giller, did not return calls for comment and Kavanagh did not respond to e-mails. 

Kavanagh took a three-month leave of absence from the rent board, which ended Jan. 31, after which time he was reinstated on the board.  

“He e-mailed that he was really sick and couldn’t make the [Jan 22] meeting,” Rent Board Executive Director Jay Kelekian told the Planet, adding that he had no further information on Kavanagh’s situation. 

In December the City Council had on a closed-door agenda a motion to ask the district attorney to ask Kavanagh to step down, but took no action at the time. 

Kavanagh continues to plead not guilty, White said.