DA tells Commerce councilman to resign

From The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office:

LOS ANGELES – A City of Commerce councilman must resign and abstain from holding public office for the next three years after pleading guilty today to obstruction of justice, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

East Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Henry Barela, who imposed the sentence, further indicated that Hugo Argumedo, 49, may not hold public office while on his three-year probation term.

Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth of the Public Integrity Division said the defendant pleaded to a misdemeanor count of obstructing justice. A felony count of perjury by declaration was dismissed at sentencing.

The case, filed Dec. 14, stems from a false affidavit that Argumedo certified as true, filed in a civil lawsuit between the City of Commerce and the former city attorney, Francisco Leal.

The false affidavit, signed by Argumedo, was filed by Leal in an attempt to defend allegations that he failed to pay a settlement owed to the City of Commerce after a contractual dispute.

Argumedo’s conduct caused the city to incur additional legal fees and resulted in a miscarriage of justice to the city, the prosecutor said.

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