CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) — A candidate for County Assessor is calling on the Board of Supervisors to take action on John Noguez, who has evidently made over $500,000 with full pay and benefits in the two years since he took a leave of absence from the position.
Noguez went on leave of absence in June of 2012, but is said to have been earning full pay and compensation benefits since he left the position, as part of an agreement with the Board of Supervisors, who are unable to simply fire an elected official.
In 2012, Noguez was indicted on 24 felony counts, which include charges of bribery and corruption. The board ultimately worked out the deal as a means to get Noguez to give up control over his office.
Now, as Noguez awaits trial, he appears to have earned over $500,000 of taxpayer money from the deal.
“Since John Noguez has been on leave, it’s cost the county taxpayers over five-hundred thousand dollars,” candidate for LA County Assessor Omar Haroon said. “To pay someone who’s indicted, (with) almost five months of which he was incarcerated, to pay someone over two-hundred thousand dollars a year for not really doing any kind of meaningful work is really a travesty, and I think it’s offensive to taxpayers.”
Haroon, who has made the Noguez issue a key point of his campaign for County Assessor, says the board was more concerned about getting Noguez out of office, and did not pay much attention to how they would remove him.
Salary figures from TransparentCalifornia.com suggest that Noguez’ base salary in 2012 was just under $200,000, with his compensation package totaling over $250,000, after benefits.
“I’d like the Board of Supervisors to revisit this, because government officials need to be held accountable,” Haroon said.
Sources tell CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Bryan that the Board’s thinking was based around the idea that firing Noguez would have cost more than the deal they struck with him in 2012.
Haroon, meanwhile, disagrees.
“I think the point that needs to be made, where it isn’t just also pure dollars and cents, is that criminals need to be held accountable, and while they’re indicted, while they’re serving time in jail, they shouldn’t be getting our hard-earned taxpayer money,” Haroon said. “This was a very serious crime.”