In name only

In name only

Former Pasadena City Council candidate arrested for outstanding traffic warrants

By André Coleman 05/16/2013

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Former Pasadena City Council District 3 candidate Nicholas Benson, who regularly uses several aliases and different birth dates, was arrested for outstanding traffic warrants on Monday following an altercation between clients at his transitional living facility in Northwest Pasadena.

Police responded to calls shortly after 11 a.m. regarding an argument at Back to Life, located on West Washington Boulevard in Northwest Pasadena. Tenant Therese Nacty told the Pasadena Weekly that she was involved in a dispute with one of two sex offenders living on the property. Benson, who doesn't live at the facility, showed up after police had arrived.

"[Benson] tried to blame it all on me," Nacty said. "So I pulled up the [Pasadena Weekly] article and showed them that he has different names and birthdates, and they ran his name."
After running the name "Benson Mnkandla," police discovered that Benson had five outstanding traffic warrants; three for driving on a suspended license, one for driving without a driver's license and one for an unpaid traffic citation. Altogether, the warrants totaled $50,000 according to Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra.

Benson - also known as Nicholas M. Mnkandla, Nicholas Benson Mnkandla and Nicholas Jophat Benson - was due to be arraigned Tuesday, but instead was taken to Twin Towers Jail in Los Angeles after complaining of an unexplained medical ailment, Ibarra said.

Benson made headlines in late February after an article in the Weekly revealed a past full of aliases and phantom educational achievements. Along with the different names, the Weekly also learned that Benson did not possess a doctorate degree, as he had claimed. Two days before the election, Benson bowed out of the race, throwing his support behind John J. Kennedy, who eventually won the seat. However, Benson's name remained on the already printed ballots. On election night, Benson came in a distant third to Kennedy and businessman Ishmael Trone, garnering 64 votes.

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