Jose Huizar federal corruption trial postponed again

Disgraced former LA city councilman charged in alleged pay-to-play scheme involving developers

Jose Huizar has pleaded not guilty. (Getty, Department of Justice)
Jose Huizar has pleaded not guilty. (Getty, Department of Justice)

A federal judge has again postponed former Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar’s corruption trial, this time until next May.

The prosecution and Huizar’s defense team agreed to the yearlong delay, citing pandemic-related concerns, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Huizar’s trial is now on for May 24, 2022.

The trial was previously set to begin in September 2020 then was postponed until June.

Federal prosecutors allege Huizar was the mastermind behind a $1.5 million pay-to-play operation run from his city hall office. The former chairman of the Council’s powerful Planning and Land Use Committee allegedly took bribes of cash and gifts from developers to support their projects. He faces 41 charges related to the alleged scheme.

Huizar has pleaded not guilty.

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Federal prosecutors have indicted aides and several developers in connection with the case, along with former Councilmember Mitch Englander. He pleaded guilty to accepting bribes last year and was sentenced to 14 months in prison in January.

Developer Carmel Partners avoided prosecution with a $1.2 million fine.

Prosecutors said they have produced a mountain of evidence to back up their charges, including 2 million pages of written documents and tens of thousands of audio and data files, according to the Daily News. The investigation took place over six years.

While the City Council has called for “closing loopholes” that enabled Huizar’s alleged activity, doubt remains over whether council members will cede any power the body has amassed over the decades.

[LADN] — Dennis Lynch