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Waste Report:
Los Angeles Assessor Gets Pay Raise While in Jail Awaiting Trial on Corruption Charges

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez will continue receiving his salary – including a recent $5,000-a-year raise – while in jail awaiting trial on bribery charges, as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors decided December 18 not to remove him from office.

The assessor's salary went from $192,000 to $197,000 this year thanks to a cost-of-living increase. Mr. Noguez placed himself on paid leave in June, and since mid-October he has been in jail awaiting trial on charges that he took bribes from a tax consultant in return for lowering assessments for the consultant's clients. He has been unable to post bail of $1.16 million.

The supervisors met in closed session to discuss whether to wait for the outcome of the trial, or to invoke a provision that would allow them to remove the assessor for failing to perform his duties for three consecutive months. After the closed session, Supervisor Michael Antonovich said, "My personal feeling is he has not abandoned his job by virtue of choice – he's been incarcerated for allegations of corruption, and until a court of law convicts him of a crime, he's still the assessor of Los Angeles County." (Source: Los Angeles Times, December 19.)

December 21, 2012
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