Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: financial abuse in Assessor's Office, a rundown on race for controller, Villaraigosa spends weekend partying in Cabo

jann_on/Flickr Creative Commons

Former county appraiser Scott Schenter is expected to be the prosecution's star witness in the case against Assessor John Noguez, who is accused of bribery and conspiracy.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Monday, Dec. 31, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

The Los Angeles Times looks at property appraiser Scott Schenter's role in financial abuses within the Assessor's Office. "Schenter, who has pleaded not guilty to 60 felony counts including fraud, has spent hours with The Times and investigators from the L.A. County district attorney's office this year discussing details of the alleged conspiracy and is expected to be the prosecution's star witness," according to The Times.

A spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown won his fight to have Fox News correct a Dec. 22 story about California's budget deficit, according to the Sacramento Bee. The state is facing a $1.9 billion shortfall -- not $28 billion.

Los Angeles Times writer Jim Newton assesses the race for city controller. There are three candidates -- Dennis Zine, Ron Galperin and Cary Brazeman. "Indeed, most of the insider chatter about Zine's campaign is about how he's the luckiest candidate in town because Councilwoman Jan Perry elected to run for mayor instead of challenging him for controller," Newton writes.

Voter apathy will be a major hurdle in L.A.'s 2013 municipal election, reports the Daily News. In the last competitive mayoral race, in 2005, voter turnout was just 28 percent. Four years ago, that figure dropped to 17 percent.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spent the weekend partying with actor Charlie Sheen in Cabo, reports KPCC.

PETA declared Los Angeles its 2012 city of the year, citing the Los Angeles City Council's work on elephants and Meatless Mondays, per a release.

Meetings

None

Announcements

Happy New Year! The Maven's Morning Coffee will be back on Jan. 2, 2013.

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