Sentencing for corrupt Cudahy official postponed

Facing corruption charges, from left: David Silva, Osvaldo Conde and Ángel Perales

Residents of the small city of Cudahy will have to wait longer to find out how many years in jail their former acting city manager will get for corruption.

Angel Perales’ sentencing had been scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22 but then was ordered to be continued until December 3, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Perales faces up to 30 years in jail.

He pleaded guilty to federal extortion and bribery charges for taking cash bribes in exchange for supporting the opening of a medical marijuana store in the city of southeast Los Angeles County. He admitted to taking $5,000 in bribes.

Cudahy is a city with less than 24,000 residents, with Latinos comprising 96% of the population—half of them immigrants. A quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

Perales, 43, also admitted to engaging in other corrupt activities, including being a bag man for two city officials who took bribes: former mayor David Silva and councilman Osvaldo Conde—who also have pleaded guilty to various corruption charges.

Perales also confirmed that election fraud took place in at least two elections. Perales said that he and other city officials opened absentee ballots and discarded those not favoring incumbents in 2007 and 2009.

“I’m planning to let the justice system take its course,” said Luis Garcia, one of various city council candidates who lost during those fraudulent elections, first by 33 votes and then by 243 votes. “Let the law fall on him, and fall heavy for the stuff he was doing in the City of Cudahy.”

In addition to a maximum statutory of 30 years in federal prison, Perales must pay a fine of half a million dollars. He will also be required to repay the money he received in bribes from an FBI informant involved in an anti-corruption sting that let to Perales’ arrest.

Perales also headed the Code Enforcement Division of the Cudahy Community Services Department as well as the CudahyParks and Recreation Department.

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