Monday, January 31, 2011

FBI Questions Payment Made By Los Angeles City Councilman JOSE HUIZAR

BEYOND ROOF REPAIRS?: The FBI said it would not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation. But two ex-Huizar staffers, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation, said they also discussed the councilman in separate interviews with federal agents.

The former Huizar aides said they were asked if they knew anything about Huizar's bank accounts. Both said they did not.

ANONYMOUS COMMENT FROM MAYOR SAM'S BLOG: "This is race is over, Huizar top staffers and closest supporters have been getting subpoenaed the last two days. He will be out of this race in a week to 10 days. "- February 01, 2011 11:12 AM [Hmmm. I guess we will see.]

Challenger Rudy Martinez says FBI asked him about Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar

Rudy Martinez says federal agents questioned him about payment for repairs to a rental house owned by Jose Huizar. A spokesman for Huizar denies that any investigation into the Los Angeles councilman is underway.

The acrimonious race between Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and onetime friend Rudy Martinez took an unusual turn Monday when the challenger said federal agents had questioned him about some of Huizar's private business dealings.

Martinez said FBI agents interviewed him roughly six months ago about various issues, including repairs that he arranged for Huizar in 2006 and 2007 at a rental house owned by the councilman and his wife.

Martinez, 44, said two agents met with him for two hours last summer in Glendale and asked about work he had coordinated at a Spanish-style house owned by the councilman in El Sereno. The work cost $10,330 and included painting, new carpet and plaster repairs, said Martinez, who has a real estate business in addition to a sushi restaurant in Eagle Rock.

Martinez said Huizar had not paid for the work at that time. Instead, Martinez wound up paying the various contractors. Then, just over a week ago and in the heat of the campaign, Martinez received a check for $8,980 from Huizar's wife, Richelle Rios.


Covering L.A. City Hall Corruption - http://LACityNews.com (There's not enough free blog space to cover it all!)

A spokesman for Huizar strongly denied that any federal investigation was underway involving the councilman and said the check from Huizar's wife arrived only recently because the amount due had been in dispute. Parke Skelton, a Huizar political consultant, said Martinez is "stirring up as much trouble for Jose as he possibly can" because his campaign is in trouble.

"No one is investigating Jose," he said.

The FBI said it would not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation. But two ex-Huizar staffers, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation, said they also discussed the councilman in separate interviews with federal agents.

The former Huizar aides said they were asked if they knew anything about Huizar's bank accounts. Both said they did not.

The issue of home repairs has come up before in Huizar's Eastside district. In 1999, former Councilman Richard Alatorre resigned after federal prosecutors conducted an investigation into roof repairs at his Eagle Rock home. He pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion two years later for failing to report more than $40,000 in income.

Martinez said two FBI agents met with him in July and asked how he knew Huizar. Martinez said he told them that he had refinanced Huizar's home in Boyle Heights in 2006 and, about the same time, helped supervise repairs at Huizar's rental house on La Calandria Way.

"They asked if he ever paid for that work," Martinez said. "I said no. They asked if I ever sent invoices, and I said yes, I did."

Some of the repairs at that home were needed so an employee of then-newly elected school board member Monica Garcia could move in, Martinez said. Garcia herself showed up at one point to see how the house looked, he added.

"Despite my continuing concerns, I remain committed to resolving this dispute," Huizar wrote.

[He ALWAYS says that once he's busted.]

For more on the Story of Jose Huizar, see the Story of Annikan Skywalker. (A nice guy gets suckered into joining the dark side; quickly gets pushed into water over his head and way too deep by "The Local Higher Powers." -- and before you know it, he can't yank the helmet off, anymore.)

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