San Mateo County prosecutors dropped charges on Monday against an East Palo Alto man accused of trying to dissuade a witness after his father smashed his tenants' car windows.
Auria Maleksalehi, 31, faced a misdemeanor charge for allegedly attempting to keep one of the victims from cooperating with police after his father, Nemat Matt Maleksalehi, vandalized three of his tenants' cars in September. The elder Maleksalehi owned the Stanford Garden Apartments at 1735 Woodland Ave. in East Palo Alto. Police said he had harassed the tenants to force them to vacate their rent-controlled units because he could get more money from new tenants. East Palo Alto's Rent Stabilization Ordinance caps rent-increase limits, but when a tenant leaves the rent may be brought up to market value.
The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office asked the court to dismiss the witness-dissuasion charge against Auria Maleksalehi due to insufficient evidence. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum granted the request.
The elder Maleksalehi, 74, of Saratoga, pleaded no contest on Feb. 8 to one count of felony vandalism. Judge Donald Ayoob reduced the felony conviction on March 29 to a misdemeanor and sentenced him to three years probation with no jail time, 320 hours of public service work, restitution to the victims and $8,435 in fines.