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L.A. Officials Wrestle With Future of Projects Approved in Corruption Case

Some high-profile projects, including a 77-story tower, hang in the balance of a federal corruption case, but it's unclear whether Los Angeles can undo the approvals, whether they were achieved through bribes or not.
July 30, 2020, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Los Angeles, California

Emily Alpert Reyes reports on the fallout from the federal corruption charges against former Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who oversaw a period of rapid development in the urban core of the city. 

The question now: What happens to the projects approved by illegal means?

"It is unclear, however, what might happen to the as-yet unbuilt skyscrapers planned by the executives who allegedly provided those bribes," writes Alpert Reyes. "Several council members have called for the city to reassess approvals for real estate projects mentioned in the criminal case, arguing that the building plans have been tainted by the scandal."

There's a long list of factors that will decide the answer to these questions, such as "how far along developers are in the building process, what kind of approvals they have obtained, and what can be proved about the alleged bribery in the federal case," according to sources cited in the article. 

In the meantime, the projects in question are also apparent, although they aren't specifically mentioned in any publicly available records. 

Another contributing factor: none of the developers pursuing any of the projects have been charged with any crimes. More details and implications of these considerations are available in the source article.

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Published on Thursday, July 30, 2020 in Los Angeles Times
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