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Hundreds turn out for Cudahy town hall after corruption charges

June 27, 2012 |  8:53 pm

Hundreds of people attended a town hall meeting in Cudahy on Wednesday evening, with many expressing dismay about corruption charges that have rocked the city.

Residents said they were concerned about the financial toll of the corruption probe and also worried that it would taint the small Southeast L.A. city's reputation.

On Friday, three Cudahy city officials were arrested on charges they solicited and accepted bribes in exchange for approving a medical marijuana dispensary.

Federal agents arrested the Cudahy officials Friday morning, but documents released as part of the criminal complaint suggest that the alleged malfeasance is far more widespread. More than 130 pages of wiretapped conversations depict a city rife with corruption, as well as bribery so pervasive that it's practically expected. In addition, authorities are probing potential election fraud. They served a subpoena at City Hall last week, seeking all documents related to the 2007 and 2009 City Council elections.

Some residents called on the two council members charged to step down while others talked about a possible recall election.

Umberto Espinoza, 62, was among the residents who said the corruption allegations worried him.

The 30-year resident urged people to get more involved in local government. "We need to all come to the council meetings," he said. "We all need to attend these meetings and to ask questions."

The meeting was held at Clara Street Park. A crowd count was unavailable, but it appeared at least 400 people were in attendance.


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