Bloggin Happy Hour Musings on the Los Angeles Political Machine for Tuesday
A former construction official with the Los Angeles housing authority has been sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for conspiring with his two brothers to steal more than $500,000 from the city agency.Victor Taracena, 41, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty earlier this year to conspiracy in steering $527,000 to four dummy companies created by his two brothers, Diego and Bennett Taracena.The latter two Burbank brothers, who pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to 21 months imprisonment in June, paid kickbacks of nearly $107,000 to Victor Taracena. At least $30,000 of that money was wired to a bank account in Guatemala and some was used to buy property there, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.Victor Taracena worked at the housing authority from 2003 to 2007, managing the construction program for public housing units for disabled residents. The money steered to his brothers was supposed to go toward the installation of ramps and railings for low-income wheelchair users, but no work was actually performed, federal officials said.Housing authority officials said Tuesday the economic recession appears to have made their program a more tempting target for fraudsters. Tips about potential fraud (in past RAC boards for example?) have increased over the last year or so, and the authority has increased its number of investigators, according to Annie Kim, housing authority spokeswoman.
but what about the Taraceno's past alleged dealings with politically connected firms as noted below?
About the same time, Taracena began awarding larger contracts not only to family companies but to the three politically connected firms on the Eastside, each of which received payments of just less than $100,000.Representatives of two of the firms -- the Estrada Courts Residents Management Corp. and Grande Vista Associates -- denied any knowledge of rigged competitions. "I'm just happy that I got a contract," said Gustavo Valdivia, head of Grande Vista.
....... and who did Gustavo work for?
** The Sanctuary City (or growing democratic voting rolls) insanity continues at 200 N. Spring Street as a City Clowncil Central Sub-Committee votes to support morphing library cards, into a legal ID document for illegal alien members of the city's illegal, underworld class
** We are perplex why the "LA Weekjly Weedleaf of Record" is absence in reporting on the alleged "pot for votes" controversy in last Saturday's Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council elections. But pot heads can stand reassure that the "Weedleaf of Record" will report promptly on the latest DEA visit to a pot shop in Downtown LA or Eagle Rock.
** The LA Street blog has the details on the influx of new Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council members after Saturday's election proceedings. Among the incumbents who were not reelected was ...
Area 2 (bordered by Marengo, Soto, First, and Indiana Streets) was the closest race between two candidates for a single seat with Sierra Jenkins winning by 2 votes (25-23). Jenkins beat Jose Aguilar, the former BHNC board president when the council was nearly decertified in March 2011.
Your thoughts ..................
Scott Johnson in CD 14