LOS ANGELES – A son of Beverly Hills City Councilman Lester Friedman was granted a six-month diversion program that could result in the dismissal of a case in which he is charged with creating a fake social media account impersonating another City Council candidate.
Over the prosecution’s objection, Superior Court Judge Wendy Segall ordered Adam Friedman, 37, to perform 50 hours of community service with a non-profit organization as a result of the diversion program.
The judge said she was “not going to order Mr. Friedman to declare a public apology,” but noted that an apology would be welcome and indicated that she would then be willing to reconsider the required community service hours.
Friedman was charged last July with one felony count of identity theft that was later reduced to a misdemeanor count, along with one misdemeanor count of internet/electronic impersonation.
The younger Friedman was accused of setting up a fake online account for City Council candidate Sharona Nazarian while his father was running for re-election, according to a statement released by the District Attorney’s Office soon after the case was filed.
The Beverly Hills Courier reported last year that the councilman denied that he had any connection to a fake Instagram account purportedly for Nazarian that included photos of District Attorney George Gascón — who was facing a recall effort at the time — along with captions including, “This man is a hero and doing wonderful things for the City of Beverly Hills and humanity!”
The councilman told the newspaper then that he and his campaign were “fully cooperating with the investigation.”
Lester Friedman, who was first elected to the city council in 2017 and served as mayor in 2020, and Nazarian both won their election bids in June 2022.