Ben Menor, the Filipino community leader ousted in 2005 amid allegations of misuse of city funds at a multi-cultural senior center that he helped built and ran, pleaded no contest today to a felony charge of filing a false financial statement.

Menor, 57, entered the plea before Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Ray Cunningham. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 24, and faces three years in jail or three years probation.

Two grand theft felony charges against Menor were dismissed after he agreed to pay restitution totaling $51,000 to the city, said Deputy District Attorney Stephen Lowney. He had faced a maximum of four years, four months in prison if he were convicted on all charges.

Menor pleaded no contest to the charge that he overstated by 24,000 hours the amount of time he and his agency worked under contract with the city to run the Northside Community Center, a senior housing and community center on North Sixth Street in San Jose. A no contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.

The 92-unit senior housing and community center used by Filipinos, Sikhs and Indo-Americans was considered a model of multi-cultural cooperation and partnership when it opened in 2003. The center was Menor's longtime dream and pursuit, one he shared with many Filipino-American leaders who once held him in high regard. His non-profit group, the Filipino-American Senior Opportunities Development Council, was under contract with the city to operate <<Snipped>>

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