LA Assessor John Noguez was taken into custody on Wednesday on charges that include bribery, conspiracy, and perjury. The arrest comes after nearly a year of investigations into a scheme that allegedly resulted in preferential treatment for Noguez’s campaign and financial supporters.
Noguez was joined in county jail by one of his executives from the County Assessor’s Office, Mark McNeil, who was charged with conspiracy for his role in reducing property taxes. Ramin Salari was also arrested for bribing public officials.
According to reports, Noguez received $180,000 in “loans” from Salari over the six months before being elected Assessor. Salari also sent $100,000 to one of Noguez’s subordinates.
Salari, a property tax consultant, was then able to secure reductions in assessed values on nearly all properties he submitted – reducing his client’s tax liabilities from $44 million to $30 million. Certain situations resulted in large refunds being paid back to the property owners. One received a check for about half a million dollars.
Typically, Salari received a percentage of the property tax reductions he secured – sometimes as much as 50 percent of the savings.
Noguez has been on a leave of absence pending the investigation, but will continue to receive his salary and benefits until he resigns or is convicted.
Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.