Politics

County supervisors delay Assessor position vote as investigation continues

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Los Angeles County Assessor's Office is under investigation for allegedly falsifying records and lowering some property taxes.

Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors delayed a vote changing the Assessor from an elected position to an appointed one.

The county supervisors met in closed session to discuss a ballot measure to hold county assessors accountable for potential wrongdoing. Currently the five supervisors can do very little unless a crime has been committed.

The supervisors, at the request of Supervisor Mike Antonovich, put off a decision to rewrite language Tuesday afternoon.

L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley admits that current assessor John Noguez is one target of an influence-peddling investigation.

Last week a former Los Angeles County appraiser, Scott Schenter, was arrested in Oregon and charged in California with falsifying records and unlawfully lowering property tax values by $172 million. Schenter pleaded not guilty.

Cooley has said of Schenter: "We believe his actions are not isolated."

Last month district attorney investigators raided the home of Noguez and assessor offices around the county. They carted off boxes of records and potential evidence.

Also potential targets, according to the D.A., are several high-ranking assessor's office employees and Noguez campaign contributors.

The investigation, which began last year, has focused on millions of dollars in tax breaks allegedly given to Noguez campaign contributors. Noguez and his staff allegedly lowered assessed property values in exchange for campaign contributions.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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