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Cudahy official: Councilman holding city 'hostage,' must step down

July 12, 2012 |  5:31 pm

Cudahy city officials are demanding the resignation of Councilman Osvaldo Conde, one of three city officials arrested in connection with what authorities said was a widespread web of corruption in the small city in southeast Los Angeles County.

“This city and its residents can no longer afford to be held hostage to this individual who blatantly abused the public’s trust and his position of leadership and authority to indulge in self-enrichment at the expense of the safety of our community,” said Hector Rodriguez, Cudahy’s city manager.

Two other former city officials, ex-Councilman David Silva and former acting City Manager Angel Perales, pleaded guilty Thursday to bribery in connection with the opening of a marijuana dispensary in the city.

Federal documents paint a picture of Cudahy as a place where city officials shook down business owners, tampered with city elections and used drugs in City Hall.

Documents said that Conde, and others, planned to open a massage parlor that would provide “illicit” sex for paying customers.

Conde, who was arrested last month after a prolonged standoff with FBI agents, has so far refused to step down from the council. Silva and Perales have both quit.

Civic activists, who mobilized after the high-profile arrests, said news of further corruption, voter fraud and the tampering of absentee ballots was an "injustice" to residents and vowed that they were "appointing themselves" to office.

Blanca Ramos, who founded the group Cudahy Association-Unidos Salimos Adelante, said "they're stealing from us and that's not right, it's not what America is about.”

The group plans to ask the city to let the county handle the next city election.


Cudahy mayor resigns amid corruption probe

Feds: Cudahy official sent employees on drug runs

Cudahy councilman surrenders after 5-hour standoff with FBI

--Ruben Vives and Steve Marble

Photo: Cudahy Councilman Osvaldo Conde surrenders to FBI agents after a long standoff at his business. Credit:  Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times