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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. 

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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.”

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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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Cudahy mayor resigns following arrest in bribery scandal

ABC7 tweet on Cudahy

Screenshot via Twitter

The mayor of Cudahy resigned today, almost two weeks after he was arrested by federal authorities for allegedly taking part in a bribery scheme to get $17,000 from a medical marijuana clinic owner. 

David Silva's resignation was announced at this afternoon's Cudahy City Council meeting, and was first reported by ABC7. 

Along with Silva, Cudahy Councilman Osvaldo Conde, 50, and Angel Perales, 43, who ran the Code Enforcement Division in Cudahy, were arrested June 22 for allegedly soliciting and accepting $17,000 in bribes. The three men met with an FBI informant -- the medical marijuana clinic owner -- in February to receive the money. The confidential informant secretly recorded conversations with Silva, Conde and Perales. 

Following his arrest, Silva was released on a $50,000 appearance bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 13.

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