Reporting John Brooks
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The top assessor in Los Angeles County could face arrest while in jail after failing to show up in court, a judge said Wednesday.
KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez has been in a jail cell after he was unable to raise the more than $1 million bail amount following his arrest last month.
Noguez, tax consultant Ramin Salari, and assessor Mark McNeil are charged with misappropriation of public funds and other counts after their arrests on Oct. 17.
All three have been accused of reducing property assessments in the cities of Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach and Torrance in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash, with Noguez facing two dozen felony counts.
Noguez’s attorney Mark Proctor told Judge Shelly Torrialba his client refused to board the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s bus to the courthouse after he woke up in his jail cell feeling sick.
Torrialba ordered Proctor to make sure his client shows up for the next hearing on Nov. 14 or she would have him arrested in jail.
McNeil has pleaded not guilty to the corruption charges and is free on bail. He had no comment while exiting the courthouse.
If convicted, Noguez could face up to 30 years, four months in state prison; Salari could face up to 29 years, four months; and McNeil could face up to 20 years, eight months.
Voters in L.A. County on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected Measure A, which would have allowed future assessors to be appointed rather than elected.
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