Moreno Valley Residents Planned to Rally Against Public Officials

Update: About 20 volunteers gathered Monday at a Moreno Valley gas station as part of a campaign to recall city council members, according to a volunteer with the recall effort.

The Chevron station, located at 14025 Moreno Beach Drive, has served as the group’s main location due to its high visibility and it’s a “main drive to get into town,” small business owner Yvonne Redmon said Tuesday.

The Concerned Citizens of Moreno Valley Advocacy Group would not reveal how many signatures it’s collected so far, but Redmon said it will get more than the required 3,400.

“We’re going to get our mayor out of his seat,” she said.

Original story: Moreno Valley residents planned to rally on Monday against public officials under federal investigation.

marcelo co

Former Moreno Valley Councilman Marcelo Co, pictured in a file photo.

The Concerned Citizens of Moreno Valley Advocacy Group expected to march with recall petitions against city council members.

A KTLA reporter who arrived on the scene found no rally taking place. Calls to the event’s organizer were not immediately returned.

Former councilman Marcelo Co, 64, agreed last week to plead guilty to taking $2.36 million from an undercover FBI operative.

Co was accused of taking the massive bribe from a person posing as a real estate agent whom the councilman allegedly told he could guarantee favorable land-use decisions in the Inland Empire city.

The case is believed to be the largest-ever bribe of a public official during a sting.

Co agreed to plead guilty to one federal bribery count and one federal count of filing a false corporate tax return, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced. He was charged on Nov. 5.

The two charges could send the ex-councilman to federal prison for up to 13 years, the news release stated.

Co was elected in November 2010 and resigned last August when he was charged in an unrelated welfare fraud case.

“Mr. Co regularly traded votes, land and confidential information in exchange for cash to fund his personal bank account, rather than what was in the best interest of the residents of Moreno Valley,” said Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

The FBI worked with IRS criminal investigators, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office on the case as part of an ongoing investigation of the Regional Corruption Task Force.