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Ex-Cudahy mayor to be sentenced on bribery charge

January 28, 2013 | 10:22 am

A former Cudahy mayor is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Monday for taking bribes from a man who wanted to open a medical marijuana dispensary.

Former Mayor David Silva, who resigned after his arrest last year, pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion.

Cudahy is a working-class city of 23,000 people off the 710 Freeway near several other cities that have been hit by corruption scandals, including Bell, Vernon and South G    ate.

Documents released after the arrest of Silva and two other Cudahy officials depicted a city government permeated by graft.

Bribes, according to the documents, were routine -– sometimes passed along in a shoe box. City elections were fixed on orders from long-time City Manager George Perez, city workers served as armed bodyguards for council members and Perez sent city workers to bring him illegal pain pills, the documents indicate.

"There's a number of different types of corruption here, from election fraud to pay-to-play to tipping off of police investigations," Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Akrotirianakis said shortly after the Cudahy officials were arrested. "The very definition of democracy is that all those qualified as voters have the opportunity to cast their votes and to have those votes counted."

Angel Perales, Cudahy's former code enforcement manager, was sentenced this month to five years of probation. Prosecutors had sought a prison term. Former council member Osvaldo Conde is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 28.


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--Jeff Gottlieb

Photo: Cudahy residents rally at City Hall in July 2012 after three Cudahy officials were arrested on bribery charges. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times