Investigation into L.A. City Hall corruption involves downtown project

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Los Angeles City Hall is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Bob Carey / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles City Hall is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Bob Carey / Los Angeles Times)

When federal prosecutors filed their latest corruption case involving Los Angeles City Hall, they filled their court filings with lurid details: a paper bag filled with cash for a council member, a bathroom meeting to discuss the alleged bribe, and insistent texts from that council member angling for the money.

What investigators did not say was who allegedly provided a $500,000 bribe meant for a sitting council member in order to smooth the way for a new project. In court filings, prosecutors identified that figure only as Developer C.

But numerous details in the U.S. attorney’s case point to the project at the heart of the case: a 20-story residential tower planned at the corner of Hill Street and Olympic Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles, a Times analysis has found.

Last month, political fundraiser Justin Jangwoo Kim agreed to plead guilty to felony bribery for helping the unnamed developer arrange the alleged bribe. Federal officials didn’t name the council member but provided key details in their filings that make clear that the elected official is Councilman Jose Huizar. An attorney for Huizar declined to comment.

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