UPDATE 11:54 a.m.: Hawthorne Mayor Daniel Juarez declined to comment to KPCC. His attorney, Joseph Vodnoy, said he expects his client to be vindicated.
Vodnoy said he could not comment further because he had not seen the documents in the case.
PREVIOUSLY: A grand jury has indicted Hawthorne Mayor Daniel Juarez on two counts of perjury for failing to report $2,000 in campaign contributions from a gym, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The 59-year-old pleaded not guilty Thursday to the charges after the indicment was unsealed in L.A. Superior Court. Bail was set at $50,000.
Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman of the Public Integrity Division said Juarez is accused of going to the owner of a Gold’s Gym in Hawthorne and asking for money to retire his campaign debt following his election to the city council.
Huntsman said that Juarez accepted $2,000 in cash that he deposited into his private account and which he failed to report on two campaign statements in January 2010 and March 2011.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.
Juarez and his wife have lived in Hawthorne since 1976. He first ran for public office in 1993 and was elected Hawthorne City Clerk. He was re-elected twice and served until 2005.
Two years later, Juarez was elected to a four-year term on the Hawthorne City Council and became Mayor in 2009.