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LA County Assessor John Noguez gets slight bail reduction

LA County Assessor John Noguez is seen in court on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012.

October 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A judge has agreed to slightly reduce bail for Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and tax consultant Ramin Salari, who are accused in a public corruption and bribery scandal.

Noguez and Salari had been held on $1.4 million, but their bail was lowered to $1.16 million. It's still unlikely that they will be released. Noguez's attorney says that's still too high for his client to post.

Last week, the judge refused to lower bail and said the men could not post bail until they could show that the money came from a legal source.

Noguez, who was elected in November 2010, is charged with 24 felony counts and is accused of accepting $185,000 in bribes from Salari. Both are charged with conspiracy and misappropriation of public funds, accused of working out illegal deals to reduce property taxes on property that belonged to Salari's clients in exchange for campaign contributions to Noguez. The men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A third defendant in the case, chief appraiser Mark McNeil, was released on bail last week. He has also pleaded not guilty.

District Attorney Steve Cooley says Noguez cost tax payers $1.6 million in what is the largest and most significant corruption case in terms of county government that he has ever seen.