News

Ex-LA Councilman José Huizar Sentencing Delayed Until December

Ex-LA Councilman José Huizar Sentencing Delayed Until December

File photo of former councilman José Huizar in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 9, 2011. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

7/10/2023

Updated: 7/10/2023

LOS ANGELES—Disgraced former Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar will be sentenced in December instead of September, federal court documents show as of last week.
Huizar pleaded guilty in January to felony charges for using his powerful position at City Hall to enrich himself and his associates, and for cheating on his taxes. He faces multiple years behind bars at a sentencing hearing now scheduled for Dec. 15.
Huizar’s attorney, Charles Snyder, requested the hearing be continued from Sept. 25 to the new date due to his current caseload and commitments to other clients and courts across the district.
“I need more time than presently available under the schedule to gather records, prepare a sentencing video, and draft the sentencing submission, including a response to the yet-undisclosed [pre-sentence report],” Snyder wrote in a submission to the court.
He added that he hoped to be on personal leave for two months starting in early September for the expected birth of his child.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not oppose the request. U.S. District Judge John Walter granted the continuance last week.
“This is a large and complicated matter with significant public interest and potential sentencing exposure,” Snyder wrote. “The sentencing submissions [including the PS] in this case will require lengthy and complex filings necessitating a significant expenditure of time and effort by counsel for all parties.”
Huizar, 54, of Boyle Heights, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one count of tax evasion.
Huizar represented Council District 14, which includes downtown Los Angeles and its surrounding communities, from 2005 until his resignation in 2020.
In his plea agreement, Huizar admitted to leading the so-called CD-14 Enterprise, which operated as a pay-to-play scheme in which Huizar—assisted by others—unlawfully used his office to give favorable treatment to real estate developers who financed and facilitated bribes and other illicit financial benefits.
Specifically, Huizar and other city officials demanded and accepted cash bribes, casino gambling chips, prostitution and escort services, political contributions, flights on private jets, and commercial airlines, stays at luxury hotels and casinos, expensive meals, tickets to concerts and sporting events, and other benefits, according to federal prosecutors.
Huizar also admitted to accepting a $600,000 bribe in the form of collateral from a billionaire real estate developer for use to secretly settle a pending sexual harassment lawsuit against Huizar by a former staffer.
In return for Huizar pleading guilty to the two felony counts, prosecutors agreed to seek no more than 13 years in prison for Huizar, who also has agreed to forfeit $129,000 in cash that law enforcement found during a search of his home in November 2018. The government has said it also intends to seek more than $1 million in restitution on the city’s behalf.
As part of the plea agreement, Huizar has agreed not to oppose a sentence of nine years in federal prison.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.