Photo by John Noguez via Flickr Creative Commons
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez remains in jail, unable to post his $1.16 million bail.
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez is staying put in jail for now.
A judge Wednesday refused to lower the assessor’s bail below $1.16 million. A month ago, Noguez’s bail was lowered from $1.38 million to its current amount to reflect the loss that Los Angeles County taxpayers suffered when the assessor allegedly lowered the assessed property values for campaign contributors. An attorney for Noguez has repeatedly told the court that his client is unable to post bail.
"If he were released I'm not certain he would return, he has a lot more to lose,” Judge Shelly Torrealba said at the bail hearing, according to the Los Angeles Times. "That is not a chance this court is willing to take."
The assessor, who is on paid leave from his job, is charged with 24 counts of bribery, perjury, conspiracy and misappropriation by a public officer. He has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors accuse Noguez of receiving $185,000 in bribes from tax consultant Ramin Salari in exchange for reducing the amount of property taxes paid by his clients. Also arrested in the case was Mark McNeil of the Major Appraisals Division. Both Salari and McNeil have posted bail.