FBI's Huizar Investigation Part Of Extensive Corruption Inquiry - NBC Southern California

FBI's Huizar Investigation Part Of Extensive Corruption Inquiry

No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the investigation.

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    FBI's Huizar Investigation Part Of Extensive Corruption Inquiry

    The FBI investigation into Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar is but the tip of an iceberg into a broader inquiry that includes Councilman Curren Price, a senior aide to Council President Herb Wesson, city officials and other business figures, it was reported Sunday.

    The Los Angeles Times, based on its review of the search warrant filed in federal court in November, reported Saturday that the scope of the investigation is much bigger than previously thought.

    No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the investigation.

    Price told the Times on Saturday that he does not know anything about the warrant and added that he had not been contacted by the FBI.

    The Times reported that none of the others named in the warrant -- Ray Chen, the former head of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety for Mayor Eric Garcetti and Deron Williams, chief of staff to Wesson, could be reached for comment.

    And an FBI spokeswoman declined to comment.

    The warrant said agents were seeking evidence related to an investigation into a cluster of potential crimes that include bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering involving 13 people.

    Chan, who retired from city employment in 2017, declined to say whether he had received a federal grand jury subpoena, when contacted by The Times in November.

    The warrant also named three companies described as "foreign investors," The Times reported, and sought out records relating to involvement by the companies or other foreign investors in development projects in and around Los Angeles.

    FBI agents also wanted records relating to fundraising for Bishop Mora Salesian High School, which Huizar, attended as a student and where his wife, Richelle, later worked as a fundraiser.

    The FBI searched Huizar's City Hall office in November, with at least a dozen agents carrying out boxes, bags or rolling suitcases of potential evidence.

    Huizar's home and a field office were also the target of searches by FBI agents serving a court-authorized warrant.

    After the agents carried out the evidence in a single-file line from the City Hall office, an agent checked whether the office door was locked.

    The City Hall search lasted around five hours.

    Agents also went to a private residence on Britannia Street in Boyle Heights and to an address in the 2000 block of First Street, also in Boyle Heights.

    Huizar and his wife have both listed the Brittania Street residence as their home address with the State Bar of California, and the councilman has a field office at the First Street location.

    Huizar also has field offices in Eagle Rock and El Sereno, but those locations were not searched.

    Huizar was also named in two lawsuits filed by two former employees.

    One of the suits accuses him of doctoring his schedule to hide certain meetings from the media, along with other ethics violations, including that his staff was pressured to work during city time on the campaign of his wife, who is running in the 2020 election to succeed Huizar in the 14th District.

    After the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition passed a motion in December calling on Huizar to resign, Huizar's attorney, Stephen J. Kaufman, said: "Councilman Huizar is focused on serving all the residents in Council District 14, as well as advancing citywide efforts."

    Huizar has served on the City Council since 2005 but is prevented from running again due to term limits when his current term expires in 2020.

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