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Ex-Hawthorne mayor pleads guilty to stealing food mixer

February 8, 2012 | 12:38 pm

The former mayor of Hawthorne pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing a commercial-grade food mixer from the local school district where he worked, a theft that was captured on a video surveillance camera, authorities said.

Larry Guidi pleaded guilty to a single felony count of grand theft in Superior Court and was sentenced to one-year probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, according to Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

At the time of his 2010 arrest, Guidi –- long a polarizing figure in city politics -– reportedly told police that he wanted the kitchen device for mixing pizza dough for the large weekend backyard parties he enjoyed throwing for friends and family.

A surveillance camera apparently captured the mayor hoisting the mixer into a pickup truck, and driving away. The mixer was valued at $1,300.

The arrest marked the first time Guidi had been charged with a crime, but not the first time he’d come under law enforcement scrutiny.

The district attorney investigated Guidi in 1994 when he allegedly fired a 9-millimeter pistol into the air while trying to scare off three teenagers whom he told police were breaking into a neighbor’s car. No charges were filed.

In 2004, investigators looked at Guidi’s ties to a towing company after the Daily Breeze newspaper reported that the mayor and others bought at least 10 cars from the firm at discount prices. Guidi wasn’t charged but the manager of the towing company pleaded guilty to perjury and conspiracy and was sentenced to three years in prison.

“There are names that come up more than others,” Dave Demerjian, head of the Los Angeles district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, said in a 2010 interview. “He’d be one of those.”

Guidi was first elected mayor in 1993, but opted not to seek another term after his arrest. 


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Photo: Then-Hawthorne Mayor Larry Guidi stands on overpass above the Century Freeway. Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times