Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar won’t go on trial on a myriad of racketeering charges until late June of 2021, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
Huizar’s trial was set to begin in late September. U.S. District Judge John Walter said that the nine-month continuance was to give lawyers more time to prepare for trial, calling the case “so unusual and so complex,” in his order, according to the City News Service.
Huizar faces 34 counts for his alleged actions as the head of what federal prosecutors call a “criminal enterprise” run out of his City Hall office.
Prosecutors said they expect the grand jury to add more charges “and additional defendants” in a future indictment.
Huizar’s relationship with real estate developers is central to the federal government’s case — he allegedly accepted around $1.5 million in bribes and other gifts from four real estate developers – including Shenzen Hazens Real Estate Group; Shenzen New World Group; Dae Yong Lee; and Carmel Partners – in exchange for supporting their projects that were up for consideration at the City Council.
Federal prosecutors on Monday presented to Huizar’s defense team a trove of material they dug up during their investigation, including more than 83,300 pages of written reports, emails, and electronic monitoring logs, according to the City News Service.
They also presented more than 93,000 files obtained via wiretaps. Prosecutors said they expect total discovery will include 100,000 documents and 260 hours of audio recordings. [LADN] — Dennis Lynch