After his fourth jury trial, a Woodland Hills construction contractor was found not guilty of bribing a Los Angeles Unified School District inspector.
Kambiz "Ken" Maleki, who owns K & M Construction in Woodland Hills, said he was angry that he had been prosecuted four times but was glad that his name was finally cleared when a jury announced its verdict Friday.
Maleki, 45, said he gave a district inspector $1,000 and a tin of candy because he wanted to show appreciation for the inspector's hard work.
"It's my custom. I'm from Iran. [The inspector] stayed late at the job site," Maleki said, adding that he wasn't seeking anything in return. The same inspector, wearing a hidden wire, returned.
"There was no crime here. They went after my client because he got into a fight a few years ago with an inspector," said defense attorney Gerald Scotti, who argued that Maleki had been entrapped.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Terry Bork said prosecutors "accept and respect the jury's verdict."