Affidavit lists drug use at Cudahy City Hall, bribe negotiation
The 146-page affidavit in support of federal bribery charges against three Cudahy officials paints a damning portrait of a city rife with corruption, voter fraud and mismanagement – including a former city manager who one employee said would come into work and get high.
According to the criminal complaint, Mayor David Silva, Councilman Osvaldo Conde and longtime city employee Angel Perales solicited and accepted bribes totaling $17,000 in exchange for approval of a medical marijuana dispensary. All three were taken into custody by FBI agents on Friday morning.
"The allegations in this case describe a corrosive and freewheeling attitude among certain officials in the city of Cudahy," said United States Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. "The Department of Justice will aggressively investigate and pursue cases like this to ensure that the integrity of good government is protected and preserved."
The complaint includes about 130 pages of wire-tapped transcripts, during which the city officials boldly plot the bribes and discuss numerous other questionable activities in the city.
"Money makes the monkey dance," Perales says during one of the taped conversations negotiating the bribes.
The suspects clearly stated that payments needed to be made in cash, to avoid scrutiny of campaign contributions.
Perales describes a separate incident involving someone who came to City Hall and tried to give the entire City Council new laptops.
"But these guys don't want [stuff] like that," Perales said. "All they want is … cash."
"These guys are not your typical, uh, council people," Perales later says. "They've dealt with, uh, you know, people that throw money down."
-- Jeff Gottlieb in Los Angeles and Ruben Vives in Cudahy
Photo: Cudahy City Councilman Osvaldo Conde surrenders to FBI after a standoff at his business on Friday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times