Prosecutors in a case involving Mitchell Englander argue that no jail time for the former Los Angeles City Councilmember would represent a “two-tier system of justice.”
In March, Englander pleaded guilty to obstructing a public corruption investigation into the relationship between real estate developers and L.A. city government.
Federal probation officials recommended a sentence of three years probation and a $9,500 fine, with no jail time or community service, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, prosecutors argued that the sentence would indicate white-collar defendants are treated more leniently than other criminals, the newspaper reported.
Englander was also a member of the city’s planning committee and, according to an indictment unsealed in March, he received more than $30,000 in cash, female escort services, hotel rooms, bottles of wine and meals from an unidentified real estate developer.
Englander then allegedly spent months telling the developer not to cooperate with the FBI and lie about the gifts. All the while, the developer was cooperating with the FBI and recording the conversations.
Prosecutors are asking that Englander receive 24 months’ imprisonment, a $45,000 fine and 300 hours of community service.
The sprawling inquiry also focuses on Los Angeles City Council Member Jose Huizar. The investigation brought criminal counts against Huizar as well as development firm Shenzhen New World Group, its chairman Wei Huang, Los Angeles builder Dae Yong Lee and the Lee-incorporated 940 Hill LLC. [LAT] — Hiten Samtani