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