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Report: Tapes Seized in Bribery Case

January 23rd, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

According to a story printed in the Friday edition of the Pasadena Star-News, Los Angeles County prosecutors have subpoenaed tape recorded phone calls from Piazza Developer Randy Wang which allegedly support his claims that city council members solicited bribes and campaign contributions from him in exchange for cooperation on the troubled Piazza mall project.
The Tribune made contact with David Demerjian, head of the Public Integrity Division of the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office; however he had no comment at the time. When asked if that meant that the Star-News story was erroneous, Demerjian replied, “I didn’t say that”. Also, calls to the District Attorney’s office were met not with a refusal to comment, but with an insistence that they were “unable” to comment.
Patrick J. Duffy, a senior partner in Monteleone & McCrory and the attorney handling Wang’s suit against the city was able to confirm to the Tribune that the tapes were indeed subpoenaed.
Regarding the tapes, which he says he has had the chance to hear for himself, Mr. Duffy says “They certainly support the charges. What I’ve said before is they totally support and are the source of the evidence of the charges we make in our affirmative defense of the case and the answers to interrogatories we’ve given in the case.”
These “answers to interrogatories” are, to speak in decoded legalese, the sworn statements and supporting evidence that Wang and his attorney have laid out in defense of their case. It now falls to the District Attorney to decide whether or not the charges and evidence warrant an indictment.
Duffy did have one correction to offer for the Star-News story printed on Friday which said that the recordings made my Mr. Wang were taken illegally, since the parties were not first made aware that they were being recorded. Duffy told the Tribune that in cases involving bribery such recording is not illegal.
By John Stephens
Terry Miller contributed to this report.
Stay tuned to the Tribune for more information as this story develops. You can also track developments on the paper’s new web site, located at www.TempleCityTribune.com

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