Posts Tagged ‘Los.Angeles’

Noguez Gets More Charges

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez finds himself facing more felony counts in the ongoing bribery/tax evasion scandal rocking the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office. The new charges relate to three more building where Mr. Noguez and consultant Ramin Salari allegedly took bribes to lower the building’s assessments. Both Mr. Noguez and Mr. Salari pleaded not guilty to the new charges.

The last time I wrote about this scandal was last October. The preliminary hearing is set for January.

L.A. County Assessor Arrested in Corruption Probe

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

John Noguez, Los Angeles County Assessor, Ramin Salari, a property tax consultant, and Mark McNeil, an aide to Mr. Noguez, were all arrested on charges of conspiracy and misappropriation of public funds. The allegation is that Mr. Salari paid (bribed) Mr. Noguez to reduce assessments on properties owned by his clients. Mr. McNeil is the chief appraiser in the office according to this AP story.

The Los Angeles Times reports that,

The scandal came to light earlier this year when prosecutors acknowledged that they were looking into complaints from assessor’s office employees who said they were under pressure to lower property taxes for clients of prominent Noguez contributors, including Salari.

This isn’t the first inkling of trouble in the assessor’s office. Back in May, Scott Schenter, a former appraiser, was arrested and charged with more than 60 felonies. Mr. Schenter alleges that Mr. Noguez asked him to assist contributors to his campaign (including Mr. Salari).

Needless to say, it’s a mess. All four of the accused individuals are looking at lengthy terms in state prison if found guilty of the charges.

Stockton Likely to File Chapter 9 Bankruptcy This Week

Monday, June 25th, 2012

I used to work in Stockton, California. It’s a city east of the San Francisco Bay Area in central California. It’s in the San Joaquin Valley, and in recent years grew into a bedroom community for the Bay Area. And therein lies the problem.

When cities grow, planners have a bad tendency to think the growth will continue forever. It didn’t. Add in California’s ridiculous pension scheme and you have a recipe for disaster. It’s likely that Stockton will file Chapter 9 bankruptcy later this week.

And it’s not just Stockton that’s in deep financial trouble. Los Angeles is in very poor financial shape. When I lived in Irvine I paid $36 a quarter for trash pickup; my mother pays $36 a month within Los Angeles. The difference is the generous pay and pensions provided to public employees within the City of Angels. The money to support such pay no longer exists, and the day of reckoning is approaching for municipalities throughout the Bronze Golden State.

Will the Democrats who run the largest cities in California (and the legislature) realize you can’t spend money you don’t have? Based on the last ten years, probably not.