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CA: Former Carson mayor sentenced for taking contract bribes
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 12/20/04 | AP - Los Angeles

Posted on 12/20/2004 5:29:23 PM PST by NormsRevenge

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former Carson mayor was sentenced Monday to nearly six years in prison for orchestrating a kickback scheme in which he and other government officials pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to steer city business to contractors.

In imposing the 71-month sentence, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said former Carson Mayor Daryl Sweeney and his conspirators on the City Council had a single goal - greed.

"I don't think this was about losing your way or taking a wrong turn. You're really nothing more than a thief - a petty thief," the judge told Sweeney. "You wanted the money."

Sweeney was one of 10 people charged in a two-year probe of political corruption in Carson, a city of 88,000 residents in south Los Angeles County.

In a 2003 plea deal with prosecutors, Sweeney, 47, admitted he joined with two then-City Council members, Manny Ontal and Raunda Frank, to steer business to companies that rewarded them with kickbacks. Sweeney resigned from his post at the time.

In the largest bribe, two then-employees of waste hauler Browning Ferris Industries agreed to pay about $585,000 through an intermediary to win a 10-year, $60 million contract with the city, court papers show.

Sweeney faced up to 11 years in prison under the plea agreement, but the judge gave him a reduced sentence to reflect his cooperation with the government. That included his testimony in a separate case in which Roderick Keith McDonald, the son of Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Torrance, was convicted of paying three Carson City Council members $5,000 each for their votes supporting a $6 million public bus service contract, among other charges.

Sweeney, who had initially maintained his innocence, told the judge he was "ashamed to be here."

Last month, another former Carson mayor, Pete Fajardo, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for agreeing to accept more than $120,0000 in bribes. Fajardo, whose real name is Agapito Diaz Fajardo, admitted attempting to extort $70,000 in exchange for his support on a bridge contract and of receiving $50,000 in connection with a subsidy for a senior housing complex.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: bribes; california; carson; contract; former; mayor; sentenced; taking

1 posted on 12/20/2004 5:29:25 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

More democrat ethics at work (since the story fails to mention his party affiliation, it's easy to guess what it is).

2 posted on 12/20/2004 5:58:34 PM PST by CFC__VRWC (It's not evidence of wrongdoing just because Democrats don't like the outcome.)
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