Southern California breaking news and trends

Former Cudahy mayor sentenced to prison for accepting bribes

Cudahy city website

Former Cudahy Mayor David Silva, 62, will spend one year in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to extortion and bribery last summer.

The former mayor of Cudahy was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for taking bribes, the second of three city officials to be punished for his role in the case.

David Silva, 62, pleaded guilty to extortion and bribery in August. Federal authorities said Silva accepted a $50,000 bribe from a developer in exchange for selling city-owned land at a discounted price. The former city leader also accepted a $5,000 bribe from a medical marijuana clinic owner who turned out to be an FBI informant.  

“Mr. Silva sold the integrity and authority of the mayor’s office for his own personal gain,” U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said. “Elected officials are expected to obey the law. When they don’t, those officials should expect to go to prison.”

Silva faced a maximum of 30 years in federal prison. 

Read More...

Cudahy's former mayor says he took bribe from medical marijuana clinic out of greed

Cudahy city website

Former Cudahy Mayor David Silva pleaded guilty today to extortion and bribery. He told reporters that accepting a $5,000 bribe was a mistake made out of greed.

The former mayor of Cudahy, David Silva, pleaded guilty today to extortion and bribery, and outside of the federal courthouse, he told reporters his motivation was greed.

Silva, 61, will be back in court on Nov. 5 for sentencing. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for accepting a $5,000 bribe from the owner of a medical marijuana clinic. The pot shop owner was also an FBI informant.

In his plea agreement with the federal government, Silva described accepting a $50,000 bribe from a developer who received city-owned land at a discounted price. He also accepted other bribes in exchange for his approval on a commercial development.

“Money. It’s greed I guess,” Silva said outside of the courthouse when asked why he accepted the bribes. “That’s what it was — just a stupid mistake.”

Read More...

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.”

Read More...

Cudahy attorney: Conde deeply regrets conduct

Osvaldo Conde

City of Cudahy

An attorney for former Cudahy City Councilman Osvaldo Conde told KPCC his client regrets his conduct, which has resulted in extortion and bribery charges.

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.

Read More...

Cudahy councilman to plead guilty to extortion, bribery (updated)

Osvaldo Conde

City of Cudahy

Cudahy City Councilman Osvaldo Conde will plead guilty to extortion and bribery for soliciting and accepting cash from the owner of a medical marijuana clinic, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A former Cudahy city councilman will plead guilty to federal charges of extortion and bribery for allegedly accepting $7,000 from the owner of a medical marijuana clinic who wanted to open up a shop in the southeast Los Angeles County city, according to documents filed today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Osvaldo Conde, 50, is scheduled to appear in a U.S. District Court tomorrow afternoon. In an agreement filed this morning, Conde agreed to plead guilty to one count of extortion and one count of bribery. Conde resigned from office last Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, though he was still listed on the city’s official website this afternoon. A call to the city manager was not immediately returned. 

An attorney for Conde was not immediately available to comment on the plea agreement.

Read More...