L.A. County Assessor John Noguez takes leave of absence
June 4, 2012 | 11:55 a.m. PST
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, announced on Friday that he is stepping down and taking a voluntary leave of absence from his position. This decision came as a result of an ongoing investigation for alleged corruption and influence peddling within his office.
The investigation began last year by the L.A. County District Attorney’s office. Even with the Noguez leave of absence District Attorney Steve Cooley said on Friday “It will have no impact on the criminal investigation being conducted by this office. The investigation is ongoing, multi-faceted and active.”
Noguez’s home was raided last month by L.A. County District Attorney investigators and agents of the assessors office around the county. They found potential evidence that was hauled off in boxes from the home.
The investigation is focused on millions of dollars in tax breaks allegedly given to Noguez campaign contributors, lowering assessed property values in exchange for campaign contributions.
Other employees from the assessor’s office who hold high ranking positions are being investigated as accomplices to the alleged crime.
Former Los Angeles County appraiser, Scott Schenter was arrested on May 21 and charged with falsifying records and unlawfully lowering property values by $172 million. Schenter, 49, pleaded not guilty last week to all 60 felony counts.
Schenter said Noguez offered him a promotion if he would secretly and improperly reduce property tax values of wealthy owners tax bills in order for them to donate to the Noguez campaign.
Tags: California, curruption, district attorney steve cooley, la county assessors office, Los Angeles, misconduct, noguez takes leave of absense, scott schenter