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Former Cudahy officials appear in federal court

Joseph Akrotirianakis

Alice Walton/KPCC

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Akrotirianakis speaks to reporters following the court appearance of three former Cudahy city officials.

A former Cudahy city councilman’s decision to plead guilty to federal charges of extortion and bribery should be seen as his way of accepting complete responsibility, an attorney said today.

Osvaldo Conde appeared in a federal courtroom this afternoon, one day after prosecutors announced he would plead guilty to accepting a $7,000 bribe from the owner of a medical marijuana clinic, who was also an FBI informant. His next court appearance was set for July 30.

“Mr. Conde made mistakes. He understands he made mistakes. Some of those mistakes crossed the line in terms of criminal responsibility,” Conde’s attorney Manuel Medrano told reporters following the court hearing. 

“He’s stepping up to the plate and accepting 100 percent responsibility for what he did. The cards now will fall where they may in terms of sentencing.”

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Former Cudahy mayor, acting city manager to plead guility to federal extortion, bribery charges (updated)

Cudahy city website

Former Cudahy Mayor David Silva will plead guilty to federal extortion and bribery charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Two former Cudahy city leaders agreed today to plead guilty to federal extortion and bribery charges that stem from allegations they took cash bribes from the owner of a medical marijuana store. 

In plea agreements provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, former Mayor David Silva, 61, and former acting city manager Angel Perales, 43, detail voter fraud and bribery in the town of 25,000 people.

Silva admitted to accepting bribes from multiple people, including $50,000 from a developer who wanted to buy city-owned land, according to the statement in his plea agreement. In exchange for the bribe, the developer’s deal would be discounted by $800,000.

Silva resigned from office July 3. 

Cudahy’s former acting city manager, Angel Perales, 43, admitted to participating in election fraud during the 2007 municipal election, according to his statement to authorities. Perales, who also ran Code Enforcement, and other city officials would routinely toss out absentee ballots cast for their opponents. The same routine was repeated in 2009, according to authorities. Prior to 2007, Perales had family members who did not live in Cudahy register to vote in the city’s election.

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