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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2012 | By Jack Dolan and Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez will keep receiving his $197,000 salary in jail. The Board of Supervisors discussed his fate behind closed doors Tuesday and did not remove him from office. Noguez has been in jail since mid-October. He is charged with taking $185,000 in bribes from a tax consultant - and campaign fundraiser - to lower property taxes for his clients. Noguez, who was elected assessor in 2010, has not worked since June, when he placed himself on paid leave of absence to concentrate on preparing a legal defense to the corruption allegations swirling around him. While on leave, he got a cost-of-living raise in July, boosting his annual salary from $192,000 to $197,000.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2012 | By Ruben Vives and Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley on Wednesday called for the resignation of Assessor John Noguez, whose office has been the target of a corruption probe. Cooley made the comments to reporters for several news organizations, a day after he announced that he planned to bring the case to a grand jury. "I don't think he should be there," Cooley told KNBC-TV Channel 4. "In my view, he should resign in the light of everything that's come out publicly. " Officials at the district attorney's office confirmed that Cooley would like Noguez to step down.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2012 | By Sam Allen
Supporters of Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, who was arrested last month in a sweeping corruption case on suspicion of taking bribes to reduce property assessments, are now being asked to donate money so he can make bail. An email sent Friday afternoon from Noguez's personal account — signed by "Friends of John Noguez" — asked for contributions to the assessor's legal fund. "As you may know, our friend John Noguez is in trouble and needs our support more than ever," the email said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2013 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, who has been in jail since his October arrest on two dozen corruption charges, finally made bail on Friday. Noguez is accused of taking $185,000 in bribes from Ramin Salari, a prominent property tax consultant and generous Noguez campaign fundraiser. In return for the cash, Noguez is alleged to have lowered property tax bills for some of Salari's wealthy clients. Both Noguez and Salari pleaded not guilty following their Oct. 17 arrest, and have vigorously denied any wrongdoing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2012 | By Jack Dolan and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
On his first day as a special assistant to Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, David Zoraster was surprised to see the methodical, data-driven process of property appraisal replaced with a system known within the office as "Let's Make a Deal. " One of Noguez's deputies ignored appraisals valuing the site of Hollywood's Old Spaghetti Factory site at $16 million to $18 million, and sided with the property owner's tax consultant - Ramin Salari, a prominent Noguez campaign fundraiser - who said the parcels were worth only $10.5 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2012 | By Jack Dolan, Ruben Vives and Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
About six months before John Noguez was elected Los Angeles County assessor, he received an $80,000 check from his old friend and prominent property tax consultant, Ramin Salari. Over the next few months, Salari cut Noguez two more checks, for a total of $180,000. In return, authorities say, assessor officials began giving tax breaks to many of Salari's clients. Prosecutors on Wednesday alleged that the payments to Noguez - and an additional $100,000 given to a lower-level assessor's official - were bribes to illegally reduce the values of properties so that Salari's clients would pay less in taxes.
BUSINESS
May 27, 1997
Q: We send computer consultants to work on temporary jobs at our clients' work sites. What rules apply to these per diem workers? --Brian Beck Director of sales, ConsultNet * A: The rules depend on whether you are basically an employment agency, supplying people who will be paid by the company where they do the work, or a "rent-an-employee" agency. If you are truly a temporary employment agency, you have little responsibility for treating these consultants as employees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2012 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County prosecutors are examining large property tax breaks extended to the owners of the Old Spaghetti Factory, the now-closed Hollywood landmark, as part of their influence-peddling investigation of Assessor John Noguez. Prosecutors are also looking at more than a hundred Westside properties whose owners got secret, improper tax reductions from a former assessor's office employee who said he broke the rules hoping to generate contributions to Noguez's campaign account.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 2012 | Jean Merl
Days after Tuesday's primary election, four congressional and 11 Assembly races -- as well as Proposition 29, a proposed cigarette tax -- still are undecided. In most of the candidate contests, it's not yet clear who finished second -- a crucial position in the state's new "top-two" elections system. The 15 unsettled races, one of which hung by two votes Friday, represent a significant jump from the typical three or four in past elections, according to Allan Hoffenblum, who publishes the nonpartisan California Target Book of state contests.
NEWS
May 25, 2012 | Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
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 afternoon. Schenter, 49, pleaded not guilty to all 60 felony counts as he stood with his back to reporters, cameras and photographers in an attempt to avoid being photographed. Prosecutors say Schenter slashed values of multimillion-dollar homes and businesses in Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades.
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