This is the same John Tran who colluded with cronies to hire a 27-year-old kid named Oliver Chi to be Rosemead's City Manager. Met him once. As glib as a used car salesman.
from Pasadena Star News
Former Rosemead Mayor John Tran pleads guilty to bribery, received four times amount of bribes previously indicated
Posted: 03/20/2012 10:22:02 AM PDT
Though the plea was expected under a previously announced agreement, it was revealed Tuesday that Tran actually received about $38,000 in bribes from the developer. Tran has agreed to return those funds to the developer as restitution.
That amount is much larger than the approximately $10,000 Tran was charged with taking because prosecutors had to work within the confines of a five-year statute of limitations, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Akrotirianakis.
In February, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that Tran had agreed to a deal in which he would plead guilty to bribery in exchange for not facing prosecution on obstruction of justice and extortion charges.
According to prosecutors, Tran began asking for bribes in 2005 after meeting a developer who visited City Hall to pitch a project. Prosecutors say Tran agreed to help the developer gain approval for a mixed-use project at the southeast corner of Valley Boulevard and Rio Hondo Avenue in exchange for money.
In 2007, the developer refused to provide any more money to Tran. When Tran lost his seat on the City Council, with the developer's project still unapproved, the developer approached the FBI and relayed what had happened.
declined to identify the developer, but records at the County Assessor's office and a claim filed with the city indicate that the developer is Tammy Gong, an Arcadia resident, who lists her company as L & G Rosemead Garden LLC. After about 40 minutes of questioning Tuesday morning by Judge Dale Fischer to ensure Tran was competent to plead guilty and understood what he was accused of, Tran admitted what he had done.
"Is everything (the prosecutor) said about you and your conduct true?" Fischer asked.
"I took money from a business owner who had business in front of the city, so I'm guilty of that," Tran said.
Tran faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 at sentencing.
Akrotirianakis said Tran has already given back $35,000 of the bribes he took. He said much of the money was returned as part of an FBI plan in which the developer was told to request the money back from Tran.
When Tran returned the money, it helped establish that the bribery had occurred, Akrotirianakis said.
Tran's sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6. He remains free on bail.
Tran declined to comment on the proceedings.
Community activists Marlene Shinen of South San Gabriel and Juan Nunez of Rosemead attended Tran's hearing, just as they did when he made his initial appearance last month.
"I guess he knows he can't get away with it when they have that much on him," Nunez said.
Shinen said she was "pleased" to hear Tran admit to bribery.
"John Tran used and abused people and employees for his political gain, not to serve people, but himself," Shinen said.
Akrotirianakis asked anyone who has information about bribery in Rosemead or any other local city to send an email to email@example.com or call 310-477-6565.
626-962-8811, ext. 2718