I just finished writing up this story. There’s much more meat to it, but I was limited on space. This week’s Leftovers column will have more ….
BALDWIN PARK — A criminal probe of Mayor Manuel Lozano following his 2007 all expense-paid trip to China concluded the mayor broke no laws, authorities said Thursday.
Deputy district attorneys with the DA’s Public Integrity Division began the probe in September. They had received a complaint that Lozano took the all-expenses paid trip, but never claimed it on his statement of economic interests.
In a letter dated April 13, Deputy District Attorney Juliet Schmidt said that Lozano’s trip was paid for by the Chinese government, and did not need to be reported.
“As I said from the beginning, I had not done anything wrong and if I needed to amend my forms I would do it,” Lozano said Thursday. “I wasn’t worried about anything. I hadn’t committed any crime.”
Local businessman Greg Tuttle, who said the review stemmed from a separate grievance he filed last year with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, said he was disappointed with the decision.
Tuttle had alleged the trip was paid for by a local businessman.
“(The DA) asked everyone that went on the trip if the Chinese government paid for it,” Tuttle said. “But they failed to do the one thing: (show) the Chinese government paid for it.”
Tuttle said he would continue to pursue the matter with the FPPC, which is still actively investigating the case, according to Executive Director Roman Porter
Lozano previously said the trip was paid for by a bank in Rowland Heights.
But on Thursday, he said he knew all along it was paid for by the government, and simply had not clarified his statements before.
According to Schmidt’s letter, because witnesses confirmed Lozano gave speeches during the trip, he did not need to report it on his statements.