Skip to Content

Trial Of Former Deputy Mayor Who Allegedly Arranged Bribes For Jose Huizar Put On Hold

Jose Huizar, right, with Mayor Eric Garcetti, left. Courtesy of Jose Huizar.

The federal trial of former Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan was put on hold for three weeks after his attorney, Harland Braun, reportedly fell ill.

A deputy mayor who oversaw economic development for ex-Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2016 and 2017, Chan is charged with allegedly arranging indirect bribe payments to city officials .

Chan, 66, is accused of being a key member of what prosecutors dubbed the Council District 14 enterprise, a conspiracy in which former Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar—assisted by others—unlawfully used his office to give favorable treatment to real estate developers who financed and facilitated bribes and other illicit benefits.

The former deputy mayor faces a dozen criminal counts, including racketeering conspiracy, bribery, honest services fraud, and lying to federal agents for his alleged role in a "pay-to-play" scheme that prosecutors say netted millions.

During his opening statement, Braun said his client was innocent and blamed prosecutors for being overly ambitious. The 80-year-old attorney is known for coming to the defense of celebrity clients such as Roman Polanski, Gary Busy, and Dennis Rodman.

The judge overseeing the trial first learned that Braun was hospitalized on Friday. During a Monday hearing, the judge placed the trail on hold until March 27. Braun's illness has not been publicly disclosed.

In late January, former Councilmember Jose Huizar pleaded guilty to felony charges for using his powerful position at city hall to enrich himself and his associates, and for cheating on his taxes. The former CD14 representative faces sentencing early next month.

Two previous trials arising from the 2020 indictment against Huizar, Chan and various associates have ended in convictions. Last year Huizar's brother pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about receiving cash envelopes from his little brother. He's set to be sentenced a month after Jose.

Thus far, nine defendants in the sprawling corruption probe have been convicted. Prosecutors have also secured $3 million in criminal penalties from real estate companies and developers.

City News Services contributed to this report.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

‘I Wasn’t Prepared For This:’ Placita Olvera’s Iconic El Burro Is Given A 30-Day Eviction Notice Following A Unanimous Vote on Thursday

This Thursday, the Board of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority Commissioners voted to evict La Carreta despite attempts from the family, community, and even the city council to save it. 

July 13, 2024

Downtown L.A.’s First Proudly Queer-Owned Dispensary Is Thriving

The disco ball and neon signs illuminate a wall dedicated to LGBTQIA+ products at Green Qween. Despite the queer community being at the forefront of medical marijuana usage during the HIV and AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s, today, queer representation remains low in the cannabis industry.

July 12, 2024

What To Eat This Weekend In L.A.: Whole Lobster Katsu, Cannabis Omakase, Smoked Brisket Agnolotti, and a Carne Asada Fest Discount

This Saturday, EVERYone is invited to the carne asada. Asada Fest, to be specific. Plus, two new restaurants team up to bring an enticing new menu at Echo Park lake's boathouse restaurant.

July 12, 2024

This Veteran Journalist Wrote a True Crime Book About Gangs Taxing Streets Vendors in MacArthur Park

In his new book "The Rent Collectors: Exploitation, Murder and Redemption in Immigrant L.A." (Astra House, out this month), former Westlake resident Jesse Katz dives into the life of a teenaged member of the Columbia Lil Cycos gang.

July 11, 2024

His Taquería Is Almost At The North Pole, But He Gets His Tortillas From L.A.

This lone taco truck sits in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, a visa-free Island that is home to about 2,900 people from over 50 nationalities located a few hundred miles from the North Pole. The owner is a Swedish taquero who is so obsessed with L.A.-style tacos, that he decided to open the most northernmost taquería in the world.

July 11, 2024
See all posts