LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP)—The bail amount was lowered slightly for the Los Angeles County assessor and the tax consultant accused of bribing him to have taxes lowered on his clients’ properties.

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A judge Monday dropped Assessor John Noguez and Ramin Salari’s bail from $1.4 million to $1.16 million, which is the amount of money the District Attorney claims the alleged scheme cost taxpayers.

Noguez and Salari were arrested last Wednesday and charged with more than 20 felonies as a result of an ongoing investigation into fraudulent conduct at the assessor’s office.

The District Attorney claims Noguez accepted $185,000 in bribes from Salari between Feb. and Sept. 2010 in exchange for lowering property values in Los Angeles for Salari’s clients.

Noguez’s lawyer had requested $100,000 bail and Salari’s lawyer had sought $575,000 bail.

KCAL9’s Joy Benedict said the judge shot down those requests because of abuse of trust and allegations against an elected official.

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A third defendant, Mark McNeil, was released after posting $1.1 million bail.


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