Mitch Englander

Former LA Councilman Mitch Englander Sentenced to 14 Months in Prison

Mitch Englander pleaded guilty to federal charges of obstructing justice as part of a larger FBI corruption investigation at LA City Hall.

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A federal judge sentenced former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander to 14 months in prison after Englander admitted that he obstructed justice as FBI agents were investigating reports of corruption and bribery inside City Hall.

U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter rejected Englander's request for home confinement, and said Monday that Englander's conduct required a, "substantial custodial sentence."

Englander was also ordered to pay a $15,000 fine and will serve a three-year term of supervised release when he's freed from custody.

He was ordered to surrender to begin serving the sentence June 1.

"I give no excuses I own what I did and take responsibility 100 percent," Englander told the court before the sentence was imposed. 

"I apologize to the court, to the FBI, to the community, my former constitutents, and more importantly to my family, my wife, my daughters," he said.

Englander agreed to plead guilty in July, 2020 and said at the time, "I accept full responsibility for my conduct and I am truly grateful to my family and friends for their support."

At a sentencing hearing Monday, Englander's defense attorney Janet Levine said the public humiliation associated with the arrest and prosecution was already a significant punishment, and argued that a prison term was inappropriate. 

"A sentence of home confinement is not a sentence that lets this man off the hook," Levine said, and added that Englander's guilty plea in the case would ensure that his obituary would someday begin with a reference to this crime.

Englander represented the north west San Fernando Valley in Council District 12 from July 2011 until he resigned when the federal allegations against him became public in 2018.

According to the plea agreementm Englander admitted he lied to FBI agents to try to hide his receipt of $15,000 in cash, expensive meals and hotel stays, and other gifts offered to him by a businessman, beginning during a trip to Las Vegas in July 2017. 

The businessman began cooperating with the FBI and secretly recording Englander and other city officials, including former Councilman Jose Huizar, who's been charged with accepting $1.5 million in bribes from real estate developers.

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