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Former Temple City mayor gets 16 months in bribery case

Judy Wong pleads no contest to charges that she solicited and received $13,100 in bribes for her support of a $75-million mall project.

September 11, 2010|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

Former Temple City Mayor Judy Wong was sentenced Friday to 16 months in state prison after pleading no contest to charges that she solicited and received $13,100 in bribes for her support of a $75-million mall project.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg ordered Wong to pay $16,700 in restitution to the developer and more than $16,000 in fines.

Wong, 53, entered a plea in May to 10 counts of bribery, perjury and solicitation to commit bribery, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Hassett of the district attorney's public integrity division.

The mayor, who resigned in March, was named in a 21-count indictment last year along with former Mayor Cathe Wilson and Wilson's campaign treasurer Scott Carwile.

The charges stem from allegations that Wong, Wilson and David Capra — all council members in 2007 — demanded and received cash bribes from developer Randy Wang for his Temple City Piazza mall.

Prosecutors allege that in exchange for the bribes, the council members agreed to support the 124,000-square-foot project. According to court documents, Wong called the developer at one point.

"Of course, I do not like corruption," Wong said, according to court records. "However, sometimes if one does some of these things, it will at least make things easier."

Capra, who was charged separately, pleaded guilty last year to one misdemeanor count of failure to report a campaign contribution and agreed to resign from the council.

Carwile, 51, earlier pleaded guilty to one felony count of perjury and is awaiting sentencing. Wilson, 77, who is charged with three counts each of perjury and bribery, is slated for trial Nov. 8.

richard.winton@latimes.com

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