The mayor of Cudahy resigned Tuesday after he, a councilman and a former official were charged in late June with federal bribery in an unfolding corruption scandal, officials said.
The resignation of Mayor David M. Silva was announced at the start of a standing-room-only City Council meeting.
Silva, Councilman Osvaldo Conde and Angel Perales, the former head of code enforcement, are accused of taking $17,000 in bribes from a marijuana dispensary owner who was working as an FBI informant. The officials allegedly took the bribes in exchange for their help in opening a store in the small blue-collar city, according to federal authorities.
The June 22 arrests, followed several days later by a Santa Fe Springs councilman pleading guilty to a similar federal charge, are the latest corruption scandals to taint the cluster of small cities in southeast Los Angeles County. Two years ago, a City Hall scandal in Bell sparked community outrage, led to criminal charges against eight former city officials and helped usher in new leadership in the heavily Latino immigrant community.
In the Cudahy case, a 146-page criminal complaint indicates that the arrests were part of a larger investigation that includes allegations of election fraud. The complaint also refers to the possible involvement of a towing company and a sheriff's deputy. The federal document, which includes about 130 pages of wiretap transcripts, paints a picture of unchecked power by officials who boldly plotted taking bribes and talked about accepting cash as a way to avoid public disclosure required for campaign contributions.