Former Cudahy Councilman Osvaldo Conde agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of extortion and bribery for one simple reason – he’s guilty, the politician’s attorney said today.
Conde will appear in a U.S. District court tomorrow on one count of extortion and one count of bribery. The judge who is assigned to the case will then determine an arraignment date.
The guilty plea follows last week’s news that former Mayor David Silva and the former head of Code Enforcement, Angel Perales, will also plead guilty to extortion and bribery charges. The three are accused of accepting $5,000 bribes from the owner of a medical marijuana clinic who wanted to open a dispensary in Cudahy. Conde later received an additional $2,000 from the owner, who was also an FBI informant.
“He’s entering a guilty plea because he is guilty of the two crimes charged,” Conde’s attorney George Bird told KPCC.
“He deeply regrets that his conduct caused both erosion of trust by the citizens in their government and the effect his conduct has had on his family. The right thing to do is to step up and take responsibility and face the appropriate punishment, make amends, pay back the money that was unlawfully obtained and move forward.”
Conde faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine. Prior to sentencing, a federal judge will review reports from the federal Probation Department and Conde’s attorneys to determine punishment.
“If you’re factually responsible for the crime charged, it is appropriate to plead guilty and begin the process where you take responsibility for your actions,” Bird said.