Cudahy Officials Cop to Pot Shop Bribery, Skate on Election Fraud

Friday, July 13, 2012

Less than one month after being arrested by the FBI, former Cudahy Mayor David Silva and one-time City Manager Angel Perales agreed to plead guilty to bribery and extortion for their roles in the opening of a medical marijuana dispensary, but won’t face additional charges about election fraud and other corrupt practices they have admitted.

The plea bargain lets them off the hook for any admissions they have made to the FBI other than the solicitation of a $17,000 bribe from the dispensary owner, who was working as an informant. But indications are it wasn’t their first or last offense.

Perales was recorded telling the informant, who needed a vote of the city council to start a business that could generate up to $2.5 million a year, “These guys are not your typical, uh, council people. They’ve dealt with, uh, you know, people that throw money down.”

Silva and Perales were arrested June 22 along with City Councilman Osvaldo Conde in an ongoing investigation of the small (pop. 25,000), blue-collar town in Los Angeles County. Conde was arrested at gunpoint last month after a five-hour standoff with the FBI outside his office. Cudahy’s neighbors—Bell, Maywood and Vernon—are all wracked by political scandal.

Prosecutors are also looking into allegations that city officials registered ineligible voters and tossed out absentee ballots that favored non-incumbent candidates in 2007 and 2009 elections.

Federal documents also reportedly allege drug use in City Hall, a shakedown of a developer and a plan by Conde to open a massage parlor that would provide “illicit sex” for customers.

–Ken Broder 


To Learn More:

Former Mayor, City Manager of California Town Agree to Plead Guilty in Bribery Case (Associated Press)

Former Cudahy Mayor, City Official Agree to Plead Guilty to Bribery Charges (by Frank C. Girardot, San Gabriel Valley News Group)

Federal Agents Arrest 3 in Cudahy Bribery Case (by Jeff Gottlieb, Ruben Vives and Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times)

Cudahy Plea Agreements

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