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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 2012 | Jack Dolan
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, who has spent the last six days in jail after his arrest on suspicion of taking bribes to lower property tax bills, will stay behind bars a while longer. On Monday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba refused to reduce Noguez's bail below $1.16 million --the amount the county allegedly lost in tax revenue because of the scheme, prosecutors claim. Noguez's attorney, Michael Proctor, said Noguez would not be able to make that bail.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2012 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2012 | By Jack Dolan and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Tuesday that the corruption investigation of Assessor John Noguez has grown to include multiple targets and that he intends to seek grand jury indictments in the near future. In his first public comments about the expanding criminal probe, Cooley also accused the union that represents assessor's office employees of interfering with the investigation by ordering members to refuse to cooperate without permission from Noguez's office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2012 | By Jack Dolan and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
Corruption allegations roiling the Los Angeles County assessor's office have reached a former Hollywood landmark: the Old Spaghetti Factory on Sunset Boulevard. Last summer, Ramin Salari, a property tax consultant and campaign fundraiser for county Assessor John Noguez, lobbied to reduce the shuttered restaurant's tax bill because, he said, the land it sat on wasn't worth the $14 million his clients had paid for it. He convinced Noguez's staff to assess the shuttered eatery, and four smaller parcels nearby, for $7.2 million.
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
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.
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
October 19, 2012 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and the tax consultant accused of bribing him, Ramin Salari, pleaded not guilty to a long list of corruption charges Thursday. The men, who were arrested Wednesday, are being held on more than $1-million bail each. They are scheduled to be in court again Monday to argue for lower bail and to prove that any money they use to pay it was not acquired through criminal means. Prosecutors allege that Noguez took $185,000 in bribes to illegally reduce the values of properties represented by Salari so their owners would pay lower taxes.
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.
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.
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