By T.A. Hendrickson
It will be the end of July, at the earliest, before José Huizar enters a plea in the federal corruption case against him. Huizar, who was released from custody on a $100,000 bond following his arrest on June 23, was initially scheduled to be arraigned on July 20.
Both sides agreed to delay the arraignment and the judge approved. Such delays are allowed when a judge determines that there is good cause and the ends of justice are served, said Thom Mrozek, director of media relations for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in L.A.
Prosecutors have alleged that Huizar, the L.A. City Councilmember for downtown L.A., Eagle Rock and other parts of the east side, ran a criminal enterprise to extract bribes from real estate developers doing business in L.A.
Details of the prosecutors’ case are in this 116-page criminal complaint.
So far, former City Councilmember Mitchell Englander has pleaded guilty in a related corruption case. In the Huizar case, political fundraiser Justin Jangwoo Kim and real estate consultant George Chiang have pleaded guilty to facilitating bribes for Huizar, while former Huizar aide George Esparza has agreed to plead guilty for his role in the bribery scheme.
If convicted of the crimes he has been charged with, Huizar faces as much as 20 years in prison.
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T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel, and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times. Hendrickson is committed to local news reporting and to finding a way forward for local news outlets in today's challenging media markets.