Hawthorne Mayor Defeated in Wake of Corruption Charges

Incumbent Hawthorne mayor Danny Juarez was soundly defeated in yesterday’s election by challenger Chris Brown, who has never held elected office.  Since October 2012, Juarez has been battling perjury charges in connection with filing false campaign finance reports.  Local prosecutors allege that he obtained tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from local businesses, but then spent the funds for personal expenses.

Juarez was first indicted in October 2012 for lying on campaign finance disclosure forms, which required him to identify the source of all monies paid to his campaign.  Juarez allegedly deposited $25,000 into his personal bank account without disclosing the source.  He was charged with four additional counts of perjury in August 2013.

In the past five years, two other Hawthorne politicians have faced corruption charges.  The previous Mayor, Larry Guidi, was convicted of stealing kitchen equipment from the Hawthorne School District when he worked there.  Former Councilman Louis Velez pleaded no contest to conflict-of-interest after renting a house from a developer while voting in favor of a city contracts with the developer.

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