Los Angeles, CA–Former Los Angeles city council member Mitchell Englander, 49, surrendered to federal authorities Monday after being indicted on several charges including obstructing an FBI investigation.
The indictment alleges that Englander accepted cash, Vegas and Palm Spring trips that included expensive liquor tabs and escorts from a real estate developer and later lied to federal authorities about his conduct.
Englander served on the L.A city council for seven years, overseeing District 12 of the San Fernando Valley. While on the city council, he was also a member of the Planning Commission which oversaw all construction and development projects in L.A County. Englander is currently facing seven charges including:
One count of participating in a scheme to falsify material
Three counts of making false statements
Three counts of witness tampering
If convicted Englander faces 50 years in prison. He is currently free after posting $50,000 bail and was forced to give his seven weapons to police.
Englander abruptly resigned from his role on the city council in 2018, saying that he had a job in the private sector that was too good to pass up, according to media reports.
In July 2018, the FBI raided city hall in downtown Los Angeles leaving with boxes from the office of Jose Huizar. Seven search warrants were served that day, as well as a search of Huizar’s home with a search dog trained in sniffing out hard drives and other electronic material.
Despite the raid, Huizar was not arrested. At the time of the indictment, Huizar was chair of L.A’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.
According to L.A Mag:
“Eight days after the raids, Wesson took the unprecedented step of stripping Huizar of his council committee assignments, and in city hall, top committee posts are conduits to serious influence and fundraising. The loss of the PLUM position meant that deep-pocketed developers had little need to stay in the councilman’s good graces.”