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L.A. Now Live: Discuss corruption, bribery probes in L.A. County

June 29, 2012 |  7:50 am

Times reporters Ruben Vives and Abby Sewell will join L.A. Now Live for a discussion about the newest corruption allegations in southeast Los Angeles County, including a Santa Fe Springs councilman who has agreed to plead guilty in connection with bribery charges.

The chat is scheduled for 9 a.m. today.

In the past week, the U.S. Attorney's Office has announced probes into two similar corruption cases. On Thursday, Joseph Serrano Sr. agreed to admit to one federal count of felony bribery in connection with allegations that he repeatedly shook down a dispensary operator who was working as an FB informant, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The revelation came less than a week after three current and former city officials in nearby Cudahy were arrested on suspicion of similar activities. Council members David Silva and Osvaldo Conde and former head of code enforcement Angel Perales are accused of taking $17,000 in bribes from a dispensary owner, also working as an FBI informant, in exchange for their help in opening a new clinic in Cudahy, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Those arrests appear to be part of a larger investigation that includes possible allegations of election fraud in Cudahy, along with possible corruption involving a towing company and a sheriff's deputy.

"Certainly our efforts to continue to investigate bribe taking are not over," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Margaret L. Carter, who declined to comment on whether more arrests were expected.