Former Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar has agreed to plead guilty to taking $1.5 million in bribes from developers in a sweeping City Hall corruption case.
Huizar on Tuesday signed a plea agreement with prosecutors. The deal calls for prosecutors to seek no more than 13 years in prison and Huizar to seek no less than nine years.
Huizar, who also acknowledged he evaded taxes, also agreed to make as-yet-undetermined restitution.
The agreement was filed Thursday in federal court. No sentencing date was immediately set.
Huizar, 54, had been scheduled to face trial on Feb. 21 on federal charges that included racketeering conspiracy and bribery.
Prosecutors alleged that from 2013 to 2017, Huizar masterminded a $1.5 million pay-to-play scheme tied to the approval of downtown high-rise developments while he chaired the city’s powerful Planning and Land Use Management Committee.
Huizar was accused of accepting cash, casino gambling chips, luxury stays in Las Vegas, expensive meals, prostitution services, political contributions and funds to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.
The sweeping and ongoing City Hall corruption probe already has resulted in nine defendants being convicted or pleading guilty to federal charges, including Huizar’s brother, Salvador Huizar; a former Huizar assistant, a Huizar fundraiser and two real estate developers.
The racketeering trial of the last remaining major defendant, former LA Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan, is scheduled for next month.
Source: NBC Los Angeles