A state lawmaker accused of being a lawbreaker strongly denied the charges in court yesterday. Representative Michael Cataldo, a democrat from Des Moines, took the stand yesterday to deny charges that he made obscene phone calls to four Central Iowa women. On Monday, a Warren County Deputy Sheriff testified Cataldo confessed when confronted, but Cataldo disputed that. He said, “When a politician is accused of anything, of anything, you are guilty until proven innocent.” Cataldo said he was devastated by the accusations. He says he told the deputy that as a politician this would probably destroy his career. He says he told the deputy he did not make the calls.Cataldo said his cell phone number must have been electronically cloned, and the calls were made by someone else. The prosecutor said that’s hard to believe, as Cataldo has everything to lose.County Attorney Jane Orlanes said Cataldo’s phone records show that between September and January, Cataldo made hundreds of calls from midnight to 5 a.m. She says Cataldo “has a problem.” Orlanes says Cataldo paid for the calls and confessed that he made them.The judge will issue his ruling in August. If found guilty, Cataldo faces up to 30 days in jail and a two-hundred-dollar fine.
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