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Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Assessor John Noguez's friends ask for bail money in unusual email

A committee called Friends of John Noguez is asking supporters to support the imprisoned assessor's birthday by raising money for his bail.
A committee called Friends of John Noguez is asking supporters to support the imprisoned assessor's birthday by raising money for his bail. LA County Sheriff's Dept.

Imprisoned county Assessor John Noguez just had a birthday and his supporters say that the perfect gift this year would be bail money. 

An email from Friends of John Noguez asks supporters to send in $99 to go toward Noguez’s $1.16 million bail. He is being held on 24 counts of bribery, perjury, conspiracy and misappropriation by a public officer.

So, why give just $99? Because then supporters’ names won’t appear on public financial records, the committee says.

“Some of you have questions about donations given that there are certain reporters who are aggressively contacting anyone who is supportive of John. We all want to respect each other’s privacy, especially as private individuals who are not public officials,” according to the email. 

The group then goes on to bash journalists for covering the story. 

“We are tired of them using John to sell their newspapers as they face bankruptcy. We are especially tire (sic) of the illusions of grandeur of the pseudo-online news blogs run by trolls,” according to the email. 

Noguez is accused of improperly lowering the assessed values of land owned by his campaign contributors. Prosecutors say he accepted $185,000 in bribes in exchange for the tax breaks. That translated to a $1.16 million loss for Los Angeles County. Noguez has pleaded not guilty.

According to the committee’s email, Noguez needs to bail out so he can take care of his three dachshunds and his ailing mother. The email concludes with an invitation to a private “surprise” birthday party and fundraiser on Dec. 6 in Huntington Park. Personal friends and family only, it says.

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