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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan raised money for charity from developers seeking approval for major projects

The FBI sought records from Chan related to major political figures, developers, and possible crimes
January 31, 2019 09:00AM

Raymond Chan and Shenzen Hazens Figueroa Street project in DTLA

A fresh report about the charitable fundraising activities of a local politician appears related to an FBI probe of City Hall and prominent real estate developers in Downtown Los Angeles.

Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan raised tens of thousands of dollars for a charity event from developers seeking city approvals for major projects in Downtown Los Angeles, according to emails and other documents obtained by the L.A. Times.

Chan’s Google account was the target of an FBI search warrant dating from last summer. Investigators sought records in relation to City Hall figures, prominent developers, and possible crimes including bribery, extortion, and conspiracy.

Chan raised money for a 2017 celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, co-chaired by Mayor Eric Garcetti and council member David Ryu. Among the developers he reached out to were four who were included in the FBI search warrant — Greenland USA, Oceanwide, and Shenzen Hazens.

Chan worked for the city for 33 years, including two years as the general manager of the Department of Buildings and Safety. He spent one year as deputy mayor for economic development and retired in June 2017.

As deputy mayor, he scheduled at least one meeting at the Department of Buildings and Safety regarding Shenzen Hazens. The firm’s two-tower mixed-use project near L.A. Live was approved later in 2017.

No one has been arrested or charged in the investigation. The appearance of any names in the search warrant do not implicate them in any crimes.

The existence of the investigation became public when agents raided city council member Jose Huizar’s home and his office in City Hall. Fundraising documents were among materials agents seized. Huizar has been the main arbiter of development downtown for the last several years. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch