On Tuesday, Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar was arrested for a racketeering charge after allegations that he ran a pay-to-play real estate development scheme. This makes him the latest, and most prominent political figure, to face charges amid the ongoing federal investigation at City Hall.
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Prosecutors say developers allegedly took cash bribes and campaign donations in exchange for Huizar's help in getting their development projects approved through the city. Among other allegations, Huizar is also accused of accepting free travel, meals and other perks offered by the real estate developers. The court filings were made public by prosecutors on Tuesday.
“This case pulled back the curtain on rampant corruption at City Hall,” said U.S. Atty. Nick Hanna. “Councilman Huizar violated the public trust to a staggering degree, allegedly soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from multiple sources over many years. Using the power of his office to approve or stall large building projects, Huizar worked through a web of other corrupt city officials, lobbyists, consultants and developers to line his pockets.”
Huizar was arrested at his Boyle Heights home on Tuesday morning and was then taken into police custody. Huizar's attorney has yet to comment on the arrest.
“While today’s announcement on the arrest of Councilmember Huizar is not unexpected, the horrendous and disgusting allegations leveled against him and others have painted a dark cloud over our city government for a long time now,” Council President Nury Martinez said in a statement. “Effective today, I will begin the process of removing him from office, so that the good people of Council District 14 and the city of Los Angeles will be fairly and honorably represented. That is our duty and we must do it.”
Read the full report on the Los Angeles Times.