L.A. County Assessor John Noguez got the perp walk treatment -- he was arrested with the press present and accused of taking some $180,000 bribes and cutting the tax bills of the clients of an old friend, a property tax consultant. The investigation continues.
From the LAT's Jack Dolan, Ruben Vives and Jack Leonard: "Prosecutors on Wednesday alleged that the payments to Noguez — and an additional $100,000 given to a lower-level assessor's official — were bribes to illegally reduce the values of properties so that Salari's clients would pay less in taxes. The alleged scam deprived the county of at least $1.16 million in tax revenue, according to prosecutors."
"Noguez, Salari and a top executive in the assessor's office, Mark McNeil, were arrested and charged with conspiracy and misappropriation of public funds following a yearlong influence peddling investigation that has roiled the office responsible for determining property taxes on more than 2 million homes and businesses."
"In addition, Noguez and Salari are charged with bribery and Noguez is charged with perjury. Noguez, Salari and a top executive in the assessor's office, Mark McNeil, were arrested and charged with conspiracy and misappropriation of public funds following a yearlong influence peddling investigation that has roiled the office responsible for determining property taxes on more than 2 million homes and businesses."
Speaking of the perp walk, another one may be coming up shortly: The district representative of Assemblyman Steve Knight, and her husband, were arrested following a confrontation with law enforcement involving the husband.
From the San Bernardino Sun's Doug Saunders: "Rebecca Tennison, 48, was taken into custody and is being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $50,000 bail."
"At about 3:45 p.m. deputies responded to a call of a man with a gun. The caller alleges that a man came to his home and yelled at him about his barking dog then pointed a gun at him.
After a brief investigation deputies identified the alleged gun-toting man as Ronald Tennison."
"Deputies went to the Tennison home located in the 14000 block of Harding Court in Hesperia to talk to him, but when he answered his door he slammed it in the deputy's face refusing to talk about the incident according to a sheriff's news release. Rebecca Tennison came out of the house, and refused to listen to deputies, making the situation worse according to authorities."
That Arizona group that dumped $11 million into the campaigns against the governor's tax initiative and in favor of an initiative to curb labor's clout doesn't have to say where it raised its dough -- and doesn't have to.
From Steve Harmon in the Contra Costa Times: "The Americans for Responsible Leadership donated the money to the Small Business Action Committee, a California group that has been waging simultaneous TV and radio wars against Proposition 30 and for Proposition 32. The former raises taxes on sales and the wealthy; the latter curbs labor's ability to use members' dues for campaigns."
"But if anyone wants to know who's behind the Arizona group, they won't get that chance, even in a state with the most rigorous campaign disclosure laws in the nation. Its donors don't have to be disclosed because it was formed under the IRS code 501(c) 4, designed for nonprofit groups operating as social welfare organizations. But the code has a loophole that allows the groups to participate in politics."
"The development sent shock waves through two campaigns -- the labor-backed No on Proposition 32 and Brown's Proposition 30."
Those who cast their ballots for the past 19 years at a garage in SF's Forest Hill section are in for a surprise next month -- the precinct has been closed.
From the Chronicle's Carl Nolte: "Homeowner Bonnie Jones, who is also an election day voting inspector, put up 200 flags, ringed the polls with bunting and balloons, and served coffee, scones and doughnuts to voters. There was cider on cold nights and, once or twice when the power went out, Jones put out candles and citizens voted by candlelight."
"It was the most patriotic and fun voting place one could possibly have," said Dena Aslanian-Williams, who has voted in Jones' garage for years."
But all that is election history. This year, without so much as a phone call, the city Department of Elections decided to move the polls down the street to the Forest Hill Association clubhouse. Jones was finally told that her polling place was no longer desired in an e-mail delivered Tuesday, three weeks before the election."
With crime rising and the numbers of police officers dropping, Oakland officials are thinking of bringing in personnel from outside agencies to help out.
From the Oakland Tribune's Matthew Artz: "While talks are still preliminary, city officials have broached the idea of paying for sheriff deputies and highway patrolmen to work in Oakland for several months while the city's police academy cadets finish up their training."
"The outside officers would boost Oakland's undermanned police department without the red tape involved in actually hiring new officers, said Councilmember Libby Schaaf, who discussed the idea this week with Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern."
"For the next year, we need to supplement our manpower," she said. "I just don't think we can tolerate crime getting any worse in this city." Major crimes are up 20 percent citywide this year. Burglaries are up about 40 percent over last year, and the city has already recorded 100 homicides."