The Department of Justice announced that Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar was arrested by the FBI on a federal racketeering charge on Tuesday.
Huizar allegedly accepted at least $1.5 million in bribes to approve building projects in the city, as first reported by the L.A. Times.
“This case pulled back the curtain on rampant corruption at City Hall,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said. “Councilman Huizar violated the public trust to a staggering degree, allegedly soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from multiple sources over many years.”
The federal complaint was filed Monday and unsealed Tuesday morning, according to the Department of Justice. The charges include one count of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The complaint further alleged that Huizar “violated a series of laws, including bribery, honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering.”
In November 2018, Huizar’s Boyle Heights home was raided by the FBI, although no charges were filed against him then.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office Los Angeles said that in the 2018 raid, approximately $129,000 in cash was seized from Huizar’s home.
— US Attorney L.A. (@USAO_LosAngeles) June 23, 2020
He continued to serve and vote on the council until early March of 2020, when City Council President Nury Martinez asked Huizar to no longer participate in its meetings.
Huizar has represented District 14, which includes downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and parts of Northeast Los Angeles, since 2005.