Former Carson Mayor Pete Fajardo was sentenced Monday to 15 months in federal prison for extortion, in a case stemming from a wide-ranging public corruption investigation in that city.
Fajardo, 62, had pleaded guilty to soliciting $120,000 in bribes.
In a plea agreement, he admitted demanding $50,000 from the owner of a low-income senior citizens housing complex in return for backing an $850,000 city grant that would have lowered the owner's mortgage. After the bribe was paid over three months, Fajardo asked the City Council to approve the grant and voted in favor of it.
Also in the plea agreement, he admitted seeking a $70,000 bribe from an engineering company that wanted a contract to build a bridge over a freeway in Carson. That bribe was not paid.
"We believe a strong message has been sent that ... corrupt officials should think twice before lining their own pockets at the expense of taxpayers," said federal prosecutor Thomas S. McConville of the sentencing by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter in Los Angeles.