Cudahy officials agree to plead guilty in corruption case

cudahy-logo.jpgCudahy's former mayor, David Silva, and the former city manager and code enforcement director, Angel Perales, have told the feds they will plead guilty to bribery and extortion charges. The agreements were filed today in U.S. District Court downtown. Those charges, involving $5,000 bribes for favorable votes on a medical marijuana outlet, will likely send the two to prison. [Cudahy City Councilmember Osvaldo Conde still faces a bribery charge.] But it's the other corruption details contained in the case filings — including tampering with city elections and registering ineligible voters — that are really chilling.

From the feds' flackage, which uses the term "bag man" for Perales:

Silva, 61, who served on the Cudahy City Council for more than 20 years and who was the mayor of Cudahy until he submitted his resignation on July 3, admits in the factual statement in his plea agreement to taking bribes from several individuals, including a developer with an interest in real properties in the City of Cudahy. Silva agreed to accept a $50,000 payment from a developer who wanted to purchase land that the city owned in a deal to discount the price of the property by $800,000.

In his plea agreement, Perales, 43, who ran the Code Enforcement Division of the Cudahy Community Services Department, admits being a bag man for city officials who took bribes, including Silva and Conde. The Perales plea agreement also discusses election fraud during the 2007 municipal election when absentee ballot were diverted before reaching the City Clerk. Perales “and other city officials routinely and systematically opened the absentee ballots cast in the 2007 City Council election by mail,” according to the statement of facts in Perales’ plea agreement. “Ballots cast in favor of the incumbent candidates were resealed and returned to the mail to be counted. Ballots for non-incumbent candidates were discarded.” Perales and other city officials did the same thing during the 2009 Cudahy City Council election, according to the court document.

Silva, Perales, and Conde are scheduled to be arraigned on July 19 at 1:00 p.m. in United States District Court....Once they plead guilty to the two charges against them, Silva and Perales will each face a total statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000. Both men will be also required to repay the money they received in bribes from the FBI informant.

Conde, 50, a member of the Cudahy City Council, who allegedly accepted two separate bribe payments from the FBI informant that totaled $7,000, currently faces one count of bribery, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Southeast Los Angeles County, in the news again.

Previously on LA Observed:
Three more southeast city officials go down - this time in Cudahy *

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