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Montebello councilwoman wants investigation into city's probe of off-the-books bank accounts

March 8, 2011 |  9:16 pm

The Los Angeles County district attorney is already looking into what happened to the money that moved through two recently discovered off-the-books bank accounts in the city of Montebello. Now, a city councilwoman wants an investigation into how Montebello has handled its own internal investigation of the two accounts, discovered earlier this year.

One, at Banco Popular, contained $240,000. The other had about $5,000 but once contained nearly $1 million. Neither account was in the city's general ledger.

Councilwoman Christina Cortez's letter to Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley says she was "writing because of the illegal activity I am witnessing as a council member in the city of Montebello."

She went on to say that she is unhappy that City Atty. Arnold Alvarez-Glasman was put in charge of the matter. The full council never voted on that, she said, which she views as a violation of the Brown Act. She wrote that she is concerned Glasman may have a conflict of interest because he was a council member and later Montebello's city attorney during the period when the accounts were set up.

But Glasman said he did not believe there was any conflict, and added that he was not the only one investigating the accounts -- he is doing so in conjunction with the city staff. The only reason he got involved, he said, was because the city was having trouble obtaining records from financial institutions.

At their meeting Wednesday night, City Council members are set to vote on whether to issue subpoenas for bank records.

RELATED:

Montebello officials find 2nd off-the-books bank account

Montebello investigates why nearly $1 million is missing from city bank account

Prosecutors probing missing money from Montebello bank accounts

-- Jessica Garrison

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