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Cudahy City Council to decide on seats vacated by bribery suspects

August 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Cudahy city leaders are discussing how to move past an embarrassing scandal. They need to fill a pair of council vacancies left open after council members pleaded guilty to bribery. The city council and concerned residents are scheduled to meet Tuesday night.

On June 22 Osvaldo Conde, then a Cuday City Council member, was arrested at gunpoint after a five-hour standoff with law enforcement.

Former Cudahy mayor David Silva and Angel Perales, the former head of Cudahy's code enforcement, and Conde are accused of accepting bribes of up to $17,000 to approve a medical marijuana facility in the city. Conde and Silva have pleaded guilty to bribery and federal extortion charges. They could each face 30 years in prison.

Silva and Conde have both resigned their city council seats. Now the question is, Who will replace them?

"We have essentially three options," said Cudahy City Councilman Josue Barrios. "One is to appoint the two seats. The second is to hold them vacant until the next municipal election, which is in March, or a hybrid of the two, which is appointing one and holding the other one open."

Barrios is one of three left on the council who will make that call.

"We would not make the appointment today. If we decide to go that route it would be over the course of at least a month, if not two months, to decide how we want to go about it," said Barrios.

But some residents who rallied before Tuesday night's meeting say there's only one acceptable option.

"An appointment, we're afraid that it will be closed doors, that it will be the same old tactics as before, without city input," said Cudahy resident Chris Garcia.

"We feel that they are going to get one of their friends to be a part of their crew again. And so we want to get somebody outside of that group," said political activist Sandra Orozco.


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