Mayor took bribes, headed to prison
January 30, 2013
The former mayor of the City of Cudahy, California was sentenced Tuesday to one year in federal prison for taking cash bribes in exchange for supporting the opening of a “medical marijuana” store in the city.
David Silva, 62, the then-mayor of Cudahy, Angel Perales, 44, who ran the Code Enforcement Division of the Cudahy Community Services Department and Osvaldo Conde, 51, who was a member of the Cudahy City Council, were implicated in the bribery scheme.
According to an affidavit filed in this case: “On the afternoon of February 28, 2012, following weeks of bribe solicitations and related discussions, made during recorded meetings and telephone calls, Conde, Silva and Perales met an FBI confidential informant at the El Potrero nightclub in Cudahy, California. The three Cudahy city officials accepted a total of $15,000 cash as bribe payments. Later that evening, Conde met the confidential informant to receive an additional $2,000 cash as a bribe.”
The affidavit describes an investigation in which federal law enforcement agents recorded a number of conversations in which the Cudahy city officials explain that the Cudahy City Council planned to approve only one or two permits for marijuana stores in Cudahy. According to the affidavit, Perales sought to broker an arrangement between an FBI informant and city officials in which the informant would make cash payments in exchange for the officials supporting a request for one of the permits.
Prior to a meeting with Conde and Silva at a Pico Rivera restaurant, Perales instructed the informant how he should broach the topic of paying the bribes, and later instructed the informant on how to present the bribes, specifying that the payments should be in cash only, according to the affidavit.
“Mr. Silva sold the integrity and authority of the mayor’s office for his own personal gain,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Elected officials are expected to obey the law. When they don’t, those officials should expect to go to prison.”