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Bail reduced, but only slightly, for Assessor John Noguez

A Los Angeles judge reduced Assessor John Noguez's bail to $1.16 million. His attorney said it is unlikely Noguez can get out of jail before his next hearing.
A Los Angeles judge reduced Assessor John Noguez's bail to $1.16 million. His attorney said it is unlikely Noguez can get out of jail before his next hearing. LA County Sheriff's Dept.

The bail amount for Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez was reduced slightly Monday to reflect how much revenue the county reportedly lost when the assessor allegedly accepted bribes from a tax consultant. 

The assessor’s bail was reduced from $1.38 million to $1.16 million. Even with that revised amount, his attorney, Michael Proctor, said it is unlikely Noguez will be able to make bail. Bond companies typically require 10 percent of the bail amount in cash.

Tax consultant Ramin Salari’s bail was also reduced, from $1.36 million to $1.16 million. He is expected to bail out some time later Monday evening.

Noguez was arrested last week on 24 counts of bribery, perjury, conspiracy and misappropriation by a public officer. He is accused of accepting $185,000 in bribes from Salari in exchange for reducing the assessed values on properties owned by the tax consultant’s clients.

A third man, Mark McNeil of the Major Appraisals Division, was also arrested last week for reducing the values at Noguez’s request. McNeil met his $1.16 million bail last week. All three men are scheduled to return to court on Nov. 7. 

In arguing for a lower bail amount, Proctor told the court his client is a homebody who remained in Los Angeles even though he knew he was being investigated and could be arrested at any moment.

“Mr. Noguez has a big hill to climb in this case,” Proctor said.

According to Proctor, prosecutors only believed Noguez to be a risk to the community because of confusion over his name, which the D.A.’s office listed as Juan Renoldo Rodriguez. Noguez is the maiden name of the assessor’s mother. 

There are still questions over the freezing of Noguez and Salari’s assets. An attorney for Salari will be back in court on Thursday for a hearing on the matter.

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