Scott Schenter, the former Los Angeles County appraiser who was charged with falsifying records and unlawfully lowering property values by $172 million, was arraigned Friday and pleaded not guilty to 60 felony counts.
Prosecutors say Schenter slashed assessments of properties on the Westside, including in Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades. He allegedly did so to secure campaign contributions from the owners for Assessor John Noguez.
Schenter's arraignment came days after he was arrested in Oregon. He remains in jail in lieu of $1.5-million bail.
A preliminary hearing is set for June. If convicted, the former appraiser faces up to 33 years in prison.
Schenter told The Times last month that he secretly and improperly lowered property values to reduce the owners' tax bills. He said he did so in the hope that the owners would donate to Noguez.
Schenter, 49, also said Noguez offered him a promotion and, along with several top aides, had applied pressure to raise campaign funds.