Longtime lobbyist and former City Hall official Morrie Goldman has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to commit bribery and honest services mail fraud, the latest person to strike such a deal in an ongoing pay-to-play probe.
Federal prosecutors say that Goldman, 57, was part of a bribery scheme in which one of his clients, a real estate developer building an Arts District complex, agreed to give tens of thousands of dollars to a political action committee in exchange for Councilman Jose Huizar taking steps to help the project.
In the plea deal reached with Goldman, prosecutors alleged that the lobbyist pressured real estate developers to give to a committee that was set up to benefit a relative of Jose Huizar planning to run for his seat. Prosecutors said that at one point, Huizar sent Goldman a fundraising plan that listed eight “targets” from which Goldman was seeking $275,000.
Richelle Huizar, the wife of the councilman, ran briefly for his seat before the FBI raided the Huizars’ home and the councilman’s offices in 2018. Goldman is listed in state records as a principal officer with Families for a Better Los Angeles, a committee that was described to donors as a way to support Richelle Huizar in her planned 2020 run for council.
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