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L.A. City Councilmember Arrested, to Face Charges in Development Corruption Scheme

Longtime City Councilmember Jose Huizar was arrested at his home in Boyle Heights this morning, in the latest signal of a culture of corruption at Los Angeles City Hall.
June 23, 2020, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jon Bilous

Joel Rubin, David Zahniser, and Emily Alpert Reyes report from Los Angeles, where Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar was arrested this morning to face charges in a federal investigation into corruption at City Hall.

Councilmember Huizar has represented most of Downtown Los Angeles through a protracted period of investment and residential population growth, and formerly chaired the city's Planning and Land Use Management Committee. Now, "Huizar faces charges arising from allegations he ran a sprawling pay-to-play scheme, in which real estate developers allegedly were shaken down for cash bribes and campaign donations in exchange for Huizar’s help getting high-rise development projects through the city’s arduous approval process."

The arrest is a long time coming, after FBI agents raided Huizar's offices in 2018, and the corruption investigation cast a pale over Downtown L.A.'s renaissance. The arrest also comes three months after former City Councilman Mitchell Englander "agreed to plead guilty in a related corruption case centered on envelopes of cash and other bribes provided by a Southern California businessman."

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Published on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Los Angeles Times
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