Community activist Jorge Reyes, of Cudahy, holds a sign while listening… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
A former Cudahy mayor was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for his part in taking $17,000 in bribes from a man who wanted to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city in southeast Los Angeles County.
David Silva, 62, is the second Cudahy official to be sentenced after pleading guilty to bribery and extortion. As in the previous case, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real ignored the prosecutor's sentencing recommendation. In Silva's case, Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Akrotirianakis recommended that he receive 41 months in prison.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, January 31, 2013 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 Local Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Former Cudahy mayor: In the Jan. 29 LATExtra section, an article about former Cudahy Mayor David Silva's sentencing in a bribery case omitted the first name and title of former Cudahy City Manager George Perez.
Earlier this month, Angel Perales, Cudahy's former head of code enforcement and acting city manager, was sentenced to five years' probation. Akrotirianakis had recommended that Perales serve two years in prison.
Both men could have received 30 years in prison.
Former Councilman Osvaldo Conde is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 25.
The medical marijuana bribes led the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office to open an investigation into corruption in Cudahy. Documents revealed Cudahy as a place where bribes were common for anyone wanting to do business with the city.
Perales' attorney, Carlos Juarez, called Perez "the mastermind behind the bribery scandal in Cudahy" and much of the investigation appears to be centered on him.
The investigation is continuing. Perez's attorney, Stanley L. Friedman, has said his client denies any wrongdoing.
Silva's attorney told Real that his client had cooperated to the fullest extent with authorities.
"If there is anyone from the L.A. Times here, put it in the paper: I am sorry to the people of Cudahy," Silva said.
In addition to prison time, Real placed Silva on three years probation, ordered him to serve 1,500 hours of community service and pay $17,000 restitution.
In his sentencing memorandum, Akrotirianakis said the longer prison term would serve as a deterrent to other elected officials. "Corruption at the highest levels of smaller cities ... appears to be rampant in Los Angeles County and in this judicial district, and general deterrence appears to be necessary."
As part of the Cudahy investigation, the former mayor of Santa Fe Springs, Joseph Serrano Sr., was sentenced to two years in prison for taking $11,500 in bribes from the marijuana dispensary owner.