Ex-Cudahy councilman gets 3-year prison sentence in bribery case
A former Cudahy councilman was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in an extortion and bribery case that authorities say exposed widespread corruption in the southeast Los Angeles County city.
Osvaldo Conde was the last of three officials to be sentenced in the case. U.S. Atty. Joseph Akrotirianakis had recommended that Conde receive seven years in prison.
"We sought a higher sentence for him because he was the leader of the criminal activity in which all defendants were involved," Akrotirianakis said.
But as with two other Cudahy officials, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real ignored the federal prosecutor's sentencing recommendations.
Last month, former Mayor David Silva, 62, was sentenced to one year in prison, far less than the 41-month term federal prosecutors recommended. Angel Perales, Cudahy's former head of code enforcement and acting city manager, was sentenced to five years' probation. Akrotirianakis had recommended that Perales serve two years in prison.
"I would have liked Mr. Conde to get less time, but I'm relieved that the court didn't follow the government's sentencing," said Conde's attorney, George Bird. "It's neither a celebration nor the end of the world."
According to federal documents, the three defendants were caught agreeing to take $17,000 in bribes from an FBI informant who said he wanted to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Cudahy. The FBI recorded telephone calls and face-to-face conversations with the former city officials.
-- Ruben Vives at U.S. District Court
Photo: Former Councilman Osvaldo Conde, shown at his arrest in June 2012, was sentenced Monday in a case that authorities say exposed widespread
corruption in Cudahy. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times