Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

The former mayor of South El Monte pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal corruption charge accusing him of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from a city contractor.

Luis Aguinaga, faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing Jan. 19, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Aguinaga, 48, admitted in his plea agreement that he accepted regular cash payments totaling $45,000 from 2005 to 2012, often in a City Hall bathroom.

The long-running corruption scheme involved a contractor who provided construction and engineering services to the city.

The contractor was not named.

Aguinaga, who was elected in 2003 to the South El Monte City Council, submitted his resignation Aug. 9.

He told investigators he took payoffs from the contractor every two to three weeks, shortly after the contractor was paid by the city.

If the contractor failed to pay Aguinaga as expected, the then-mayor would call and remind him, federal prosecutors said.     At his initial court appearance last month, Aguinaga was allowed to remain free on a $20,000 bond.

—City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.