Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Moore Listed Bribe Totals at Meeting, Tapes Show

Trial: Ex-Compton councilwoman was secretly recorded as she suggested payoffs needed for project.

September 06, 1996|DAVID ROSENZWEIG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

At a secretly recorded luncheon meeting in 1992, Compton City Councilwoman Patricia Moore calculated how much it would cost in bribes to win council support for a controversial garbage-to-energy conversion plant.

For herself, "50 before and 50 afterward would be fair," she told businessman John Macardican and undercover FBI agent Gary Will.

Moore, apparently alluding to $50,000 payments, said the same amount should be offered to then-Mayor Walter R. Tucker III "because he is the favorite of the community and he will help me [defuse] any problems." As for her other council colleagues, Moore suggested relatively puny payoffs, according to a tape recording of the meeting played Thursday in her federal extortion trial.

"I would think that you might want to consider Bernice [Woods], Omar [Bradley] and Jane [Robbins], probably no less than 10,000 each," she said.

Moore is accused of extorting $50,100 from Macardican's Compton Energy Systems and $12,000 from Compton Entertainment, which needed council approval to open a card casino and nightclub.

Of the other council members, only Tucker was charged in the FBI's four-year investigation of official corruption in Compton. He was convicted last year of extorting more than $30,000 from Compton Energy Systems and is now serving a 27-month prison term.

The lunch at the Long Beach World Trade Center on June 16, 1992, was arranged by Macardican to introduce Moore to a new "financier" for his proposed $250-million refuse conversion plant. Macardican was working as a cooperating witness in the FBI probe.

Will, using the name of Gary Aaron, told Moore that he needed to factor the illegal payoffs into the project's budget. And he and Macardican sought her guidance.

The meeting ended on a friendly note with Moore expressing optimism about "moving the project forward." But six weeks later their relationship soured when Will balked at paying Moore before her vote.

"I feel betrayed at this point," she told Will in another tape-recorded conversation played in court Thursday. When she threatened to absent herself when the measure came up for a vote the following day, Macardican negotiated a compromise, persuading her to accept $10,000 and the remainder later.

Hours before the vote to grant his company an exclusive negotiating agreement, Macardican showed up at Moore's doorstep to deliver an attache case containing $10,000 in cash, he told the jury.

Hours after the alleged payoff on July 28, 1992, Moore voted at a council meeting to grant Compton Energy Systems exclusive negotiating rights with the city.

The government concluded its direct examination of Macardican on Thursday. Today, Macardican, its star witness, will face cross-examination by the defense.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|