Former LA City Councilman Mitchell Englander pleads guilty to obstructing investigation into City Hall corruption

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal criminal charge of obstructing an investigation into whether he accepted cash, escort services and other gifts from a businessman involved in major real estate development projects in the city.

Englander is among four defendants who agreed to plead guilty in the ongoing federal probe of Los Angeles City Hall that ensnared Councilman Jose Huizar. Englander is the third to formally enter a plea before a judge.

Huizar is scheduled to be arraigned later this month.

Englander faces up to five years in prison on the single count count of scheming to falsify material facts, although prosecutors are recommending no more than three years as part of his plea deal, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Englander was seen in video shot by the Los Angeles Daily News leaving court Tuesday and did not address media.

According to the indictment, the unnamed businessman involved in the case wanted to increase his business opportunities in Los Angeles. The businessman cooperated with the FBI in the investigation.

Englander was taken into custody March 9 after he was named in a seven-count indictment returned by a grand jury on Jan. 16, according to prosecutors.

He was initially charged with one count of participating in a scheme to falsify material facts, three counts of making false statements and three counts of witness tampering.

His sentencing hearing is set for Sept. 28.
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