Although there's still no date set for his trial, 32 months after he was arrested, when former mayor Tad Honeycutt does finally get his day in court, it might not be in Victorville.


At a pre-trial hearing at the Victorville courthouse Friday morning, Judge Jules E. Fleuret scheduled a pretrial hearing for next Friday, May 21, to consider a change of venue, due to Honeycutt's high profile in the Victor Valley.


Honeycutt, the third member of his family to serve the city as an elected official, was a Hesperia City Councilman and from 2000 to 2008. Honeycutt's father, Theron, was a councilman from 1991 to 1995. Tad's mother, Kathleen, represented the 34th Assembly District in the California State Legislature from 1993 to 1994.


Honeycutt and California Charter Academy founder Charles Steven Cox were arrested September 4, 2007. They face 117 felony charges between them relating to alleged illegal transactions between the CCA and a for-profit subsidiary run by Honeycutt.


At the time of its collapse in August 2004, CCA was the largest charter school in California, with 36 sites around the state. An audit released in April 2005 accused Cox, Honeycutt and others of misappropriating $23 million in state and federal taxpayer funds.


The 2007 charges specifically relate to 37 cases of funds being transferred from the non-profit CCA to for-profit entities intended to provide school services for a lower cost. Honeycutt headed up one such entity, Everything For Schools, that an April 2005 audit commissioned by the California Department of Education said marked up schoolbooks by more than 50 percent before reselling them to CCA schools.


The charges include misappropriation of public funds, grand theft, failure to file a state tax return and filing a false tax return. Honeycutt faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The charges filed against Cox and Honeycutt in September 2007 specifically address 37 transactions in which a total of $5.5 million was transferred from the non-profit CCA to its for-profit subsidiaries. The funds were allegedly transferred without the legally required oversight from the governing board.


Approximately 50,000 pages of documents relating to the case have been given to Cox's and Honeycutt's legal teams. (With both men's assets frozen, Cox is now represented by the San Bernardino County public defender's office; Honeycutt is represented by the office of San Bernardino attorney Grover Leon Porter.)


Honeycutt's felony indictment wasn't the first in his family: In September 2006, Theron was convicted Vancouver, Washington of child rape in the first degree and assault in the third degree. Sentenced to 180 days in jail, his sentence was reduced by 27 days due to good behavior. He is now a registered sex offender.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.