Ex-assessor John Noguez raises eyebrows over support of mini-mart project

Noguez was arrested and charged with corruption in 2012

May.May 15, 2017 03:30 PM
John Noguez (Getty Images)

John Noguez has kept a low-profile after being arrested in 2012 and charged with multiple felonies related to allegations of corruption.

But the former head of the Los Aneles County assessor’s office recently appeared at a Huntington Park Planning Commission meeting to speak in favor of a proposed Circle K mini-mart in Huntington Park.

Noguez passed out materials to planning commissioners, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Dell Singh, owner of the proposed mini-mart, said Noguez is a friend and has been helping him with the necessary paperwork. Singh said he hasn’t paid Noguez for his help, and wasn’t aware of the ex-assessor’s corruption charges, according to the L.A. Times.

Prosecutors allege that Noguez took $185,000 in bribes from a tax consultant and in exchange, his office reduced property valuations for the consultant’s clients. The consultant, Ramin Salari, and Mark McNeil, an executive in the assessor’s office, were also charged.

Noguez hasn’t gone to trial because the case has been met with numerous delays.

Prosecutors with the district attorney’s office blamed the large amounts of evidence it turned over to defense attorneys, adding that Noguez and Salari changed attorneys, which started the evidence review process over again.

Prosecutors turned over more than 45,000 pages of evidence to defense attorneys, as well as recordings of interviews and thousands of pages of testimony before an investigative grand jury, the Times reported.

Noguez is facing 25 counts of accepting bribes, misappropriation of public funds, conspiracy and perjury. His next preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday. [LAT]Subrina Hudson

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