Los Angeles News

Temple City shaken by bribery scandal

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A bail hearing will be held for Temple City mayor Judy Wong and former mayor Catherine Wilson on Friday.

Wong, Wilson and Wilson's campaign treasurer Scot Carwile were indicted on Wednesday on bribery and perjury charges. They are accused of soliciting and receiving payments from a developer in 2007.

All pleaded not guilty.

ABC7 was the only station in court as the felony indictments were unsealed on Wednesday.

Both women are charged with lying on fair political practice commission disclosure forms.

Carwile is accused of perjury and failing to appropriately manage campaign funds.

"Public officials are required to report campaign contributions so that people know who is paying what to whom and who is gaining entree because of those payments," said Deputy D.A. Jennifer Lentz Snyder.

Temple City is better known for its Camellia Festival than for corruption.

It was developer Randy Wang who called the D.A.'s public integrity division and filed suit against the city.

He had wanted approval for the Piazza Project, a prime spot at Las Tunas and Rosemead. According to the indictment, the mayor asked the project manager Jay Liyanage for money. He paid it, but the bid failed.

It's a case of sour grapes according to the mayor's defense attorney Sanford Perliss.

"My understanding is that he went to the District Attorney's Office to try to tarnish the reputation of the city council member so that he could leverage over the City Council to try to get his project passed," Perliss said.

Officials said investigators went to the homes of city officials and collected evidence. Evidence was also collected at the City Hall offices.

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