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Los Angeles will pay up to $150,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a former aide who alleged he was fired after speaking up about possible crimes committed by then-Councilman Jose Huizar.
Council members approved the payment on a 13-1 vote, with Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez casting the dissenting vote. The decision marks the third payout made by city to settle retaliation suits filed by former staffers for Huizar, who is now facing federal charges that include bribery, racketeering and money laundering.
The settlement involving former staffer Jesse Leon brings L.A.’s total tab for such lawsuits to $350,000.Huizar, who was suspended from the council last year, has pleaded not guilty in the sprawling pay-to-play case.
In his lawsuit, Leon said he told federal agents that he believed Huizar would use “extortionist tactics” to pressure cannabis businesses seeking to do business in his district for money or political donations, “the same tactics that many suspected he had been undertaking with real estate developers.”
Read the full story at LATimes.com.