Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander is now facing sanctions from the city’s ethics commission for abusing his office to receive cash and other gifts from property developers.
The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission accused England of accepting and then failing to report $ 15,000 in cash and other gifts that exceeded legal limits, according to the LA Daily News.
The commission said on January 10 that the actions – which England pleaded guilty to in 2020 in a widespread political corruption case – also constitute violations of the city’s ethical law.
The San Fernando Valley councilor pleaded guilty to intent on falsifying material facts, a crime. In his complaint agreement, he let himself be lied to by the federal authorities about his dealings with a real estate developer, who provided him with secret cash payments and other gifts.
Last January, a federal judge sentenced England to 14 months in prison along with a $ 15,000 fine. From June to October, he served time in a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona. He is now ending his sentence at a re-entry facility in Long Beach, with an expected release date of May 28.
In all, the councilor received gifts worth more than $ 30,000 in cash, female escort services, hotel rooms, wine and meals from the hitherto unidentified property developer.
He was the first to be jailed in an investigation into widespread urban corruption that has also resulted in charges against former city councilor Jose Huizar, former deputy mayor Raymond Chan and others.
Prosecutors have charged 10 people and two developers in the so-called “Operation Casino Loyale”, including Huizar, its alleged mastermind.
Huizar has pleaded not guilty to 41 criminal counts involving vandalism and fraud.
The criminal trial against Huizar, Chan and the hotel development company Shen Zhen New World I in the center and two others is set for May 24.
The ethics commission’s indictment against England sets out two cases of having received excess gifts, one charge of abuse of a city position and two cases of failure to disclose the gifts. If convicted during an upcoming hearing, he could face a fine of up to $ 5,000 per year. violation.
A statement from England’s lawyer challenged the allegations of abuse of a city position, saying the allegations are “duplicate of the federal criminal case,” the Daily News reported.
[Daily News] – Dana Bartholomew