5 February 2021
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged former Maywood mayor and councilman Ramon Medina,61, with six counts of soliciting a bribe, three counts each of conspiracy to commit a crime, embezzlement and failing to file campaign statements, two counts each of grand theft, misappropriation of public funds and perjury under oath and one count of failure to report payments.
Ramon Medina sought and received bribes from several of his co-defendants who wanted to have lucrative business deals with the city. The officials explained that the city outsourced many of its services including legal services, engineering, building inspections and park maintenance to third party private vendors. This helped Medina to get bribes from these service providers.
Medina, former City Manager Reuben Martinez and Building and Planning Director David Mango, allegedly tried to sell three redevelopment properties for less than half of their fair market value, in return for the buyer to build a 24/7 charitable bingo hall, officials said. The three defendants also allegedly promised potential buyers favorable financing terms and agreed to share a portion of the profits that came from the bingo hall.
The three defendants allegedly asked contractor Felipe Velarde to complete construction projects for Medina’s friends and supporters using public funds. This happened between September 2016 and June 2018. Velarde’s work included building handicap ramps and driveways on private properties, installing speed bumps on streets that did not meet industry standards and repair work at Mango’s Studio City home, officials said. In return for these construction works, Velarde was paid a total of $1.53 million during that period.
Medina also directed city employees to dismiss parking tickets issued to his friends and supporters.
Castillo, who heads the engineering firm ECM Group, donated $10,000 to Medina’s campaign. He was awarded a $56,000 contract with the city. On top of it Medina authorized the use city funds to reimburse Castillo’s campaign contribution.
Along with Medina, ten others were charged with corruption by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Source: LA Times and Ktla.com