Friends of jailed Assessor Noguez plan birthday fundraiser
Friends of jailed Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez are throwing a belated birthday party-fundraiser for him at Leonardo’s in Huntington Park on Thursday evening.
Noguez has been in jail for nearly two months following his arrest in October on suspicion of taking bribes from a prominent fundraiser and generous campaign contributor to lower property taxes.
County prosecutors have made clear that they are actively investigating other campaign contributors who got tax breaks, and that they expect to file more charges.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the invitation to Thursday’s fundraiser notes, “if you donate $99.00 or less to the fund then your name will not appear on finance reports that are due at the end of the year.”
A similar fundraiser held last month at the Don Chente Bar and Grill in Walnut Park attracted only about a dozen people, including two Times reporters, who were politely kicked out.
The invitation to Thursday’s party makes it clear that reporters are not welcome.
Organizers are hoping to help Noguez make the $1.16 million bail set by Los Angeles Superior Court judge Shelly Torrealba, who has said she believes Noguez would be a serious flight risk if released. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all 24 felony counts filed against him.
Noguez’s actual birthday was last week; he turned 48. The invitation says he was allowed to see a family member that day. He has otherwise been held in solitary confinement in county jail with no visitors other than his attorney.
Organizers of Thursday’s party say they hope to get him out ”so that he can be at home to care for his three precious dachshunds, visit his ailing mother, and spend time with family and friends."
— Jack Dolan
Photo: Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez attends a bail hearing in October. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times