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 March 28, 2024

Jury quickly finds former LA Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan guilty on bribery charges

Los Angeles politics was shaken up this week after a former deputy mayor was convicted in a federal bribery-related case.

According to Yahoo News, former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan was found guilty -- rather quickly -- on 12 out of 12 counts related to bribery charges.

A jury convicted Chan in a pay-to-play scheme involving former Councilmember Jose Huizar.

The charges included "racketeering conspiracy, bribery, honest services fraud and giving false statements to investigators."

What happened?

The outlet noted:

U.S. Atty. Martin Estrada said Chan, 67, used his leadership role at City Hall to "favor corrupt individuals and companies willing to play dirty” to win approval of downtown high-rises. Residents of Los Angeles, Estrada said, deserved "much better."

In the wake of the quick conviction, Estrada released a statement celebrating the win and using it as a warning against others in local power who might consider making the same illegal moves.

"With today’s verdict, we send a strong message that the public will not stand for corruption and that pay-to-play politics has no place in our community."

Yahoo News added:

Chan worked for the city for more than three decades, much of it at the Department of Building and Safety, where he ascended to the top job. In 2016, he was hired by then-Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as deputy mayor over economic development, supervising the Planning Department, Building and Safety, and other city agencies.

Chan's attorney, John Hanusz, argued throughout the trial that his client was not involved in Huizar's scheme. Huizar was sentenced to 13 years in prison for several charges. Hanusz indicated that Chan will appeal the convictions.

Huizar's conviction

Huizar had admitted last year that he received numerous bribes from developers in the city along with other perks given his position of power.

Some of those perks included campaign contributions, financial comps at casinos, private jet flights, concert tickets, luxury hotel stays and other extravagant ways to win his favor for approvals and other developer-related needs.

For their part, prosecutors argued that Chan was Huizar's intermediary -- an argument clearly believed by the jury in Chan's trial.

Sadly, this case is probably just the tip of the corruption iceberg in Democrat-led cities like Los Angeles. Hopefully, more corruption will be exposed down the line.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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