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County Assessor Investigation Ramps Up

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez got served this morning with search warrants on his home and 11 other locations in a coordinated investigation into allegations of inappropriate use of power to influence contributions to his election.

In February, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office opened a public integrity investigation into Noguez’s actions and according to reports in The Los Angeles Times and the LA Weekly, multiple people have alleged that Noguez offered perks including promotions and tax breaks for campaign donations.

After Noguez announced last month that he was off by $13.6 billion in his property tax estimates from his projections in December, allegations of favoritism on the reassessment of property taxes were swiftly brought forth. Noguez announced a decline in his estimated property tax base from $18.7 billion in December to $5.1 billion in March.

Many school districts throughout the county, including the Beverly Hills Unified School District, who depend on those funds, are going to lose out significantly due to dimunition of essential property tax funds.

Noguez previously worked for more than 20 years as an appraiser with Ramin Salari, who runs Assessment Appeals Services. Salari allegedly pressured multiple clients to make contributions to Noguez’s campaign as County Assessor. According to the LA Weekly, several of those clients subsequently received substantial reductions in their property tax assessments.

http://www.bhcourier.com/article/Local/Local/County_Assessor_Investigation_Ramps_Up/87551

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