Published June 23, 2012
| Associated Press
Los Angeles – A California mayor and two others are accused of soliciting and accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to support the opening of a pot dispensary.
Mayor David Silva, Councilman Osvaldo Conde and one-time City Manager Angel Perales were arrested and each charged with one count of bribery amid allegations that they solicited and accepted $17,000. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors said the three city officials would support the opening of a medical marijuana dispensary in exchange for the bribes. The three men accepted $15,000 as bribe payments in February from an FBI informant following weeks of bribe solicitations, according to an affidavit.
Conde later met with the informant and received $2,000, court documents show.
"The allegations in this case describe a corrosive and freewheeling attitude among certain officials in the City of Cudahy," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. "The stain left by public corruption is indelible, extending beyond any individual case because of the general erosion of public confidence in government."
TV images showed FBI agents, guns drawn, getting Conde, 50, out of his business on Friday. Silva, 61, and Perales, 43, who runs the city's code enforcement division, were arrested without incident.
It wasn't immediately known if the three men had retained attorneys.
Cudahy is about 10 miles south of Los Angeles and has about 25,000 residents, most of whom are Hispanic. The city borders Bell, which recently had its own corruption scandal.