Huizar Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery, Conspiracy Charges –

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – José Huizar, a former Los Angeles municipal councillor, said Monday that he is innocent of corruption and other federal charges arising from his Section 41 charge that was not sealed last month.

FILE: Jose Weezar, a former Los Angeles City Council member appearing in this April 2018 photo, has declared his innocence for receiving bribes and other federal charges arising from the November indictment. [Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times on Getty Images].

Huizar, 52, had previously pleaded not guilty to 34 conspiracies to violate the law on extortion and the influence of corrupt organizations, accusing him of agreeing to pay at least $1.5 million in damages. The accused of organised crime Huizar and his accomplices participated in 402 explicit actions to promote a criminal enterprise, including corruption, fraud in the provision of honest services and money laundering.

In the November indictment, 50 manifest acts were added to the RICO conspiracy list. He also accuses Raymond Chan, who became vice mayor for economic development after working as director general of the Ministry of Construction and Security.

The new indictment also covers 14 cases of fraudulent delays in providing honest services, two cases of fraudulent mailings and misrepresentations to federal law enforcement agencies, four cases of state-to-state extortion, nine cases of bribery, five cases of money laundering and one case of tax evasion, the structuring of cash deposits to hide bribes, misrepresentations to financial institutions and changes in academic records.

The level of corruption described in this indictment is staggering, U.S. attorney Nick Hanna said in Chan’s indictment last week. According to the indictment, Huizar, the Change and its network of like-minded individuals have repeatedly violated public trust by extorting and accepting numerous bribes and other financial benefits, turning a seat on Huizar City Council into a criminal money laundering business.

Powerful developers, acting through well-connected lobbyists, were willing to participate in preferential arrangements for their downtown projects, he continued. This detailed indictment exposing these transactions behind the scenes should stimulate a serious discussion on the merits of major reforms in Los Angeles city government.

George Esparza, former special assistant to Huizar, and George Chiang, a real estate development consultant, pleaded guilty to RICO costs earlier this year. The political money collector Justin Jang Woo Kim and the old lobbyist Morris Goldman are already guilty of corruption.

Esparza is scheduled for the 8th. February in court, Chiang and Kim on the 22nd. February and Goldman on the 23rd. August to appear in court for the conviction.

The trial date for Hoizar von Boyle Heights in this case is the 22nd. June.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City Information Service contributed to this report).

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