LOS ANGELES (KTLA/AP) -- Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar was accused Tuesday of accepting more than $1.5 million in bribes and other benefits to approve or stall large building projects and shape the Los Angeles development landscape, prosecutors said.
Huizar, 51, was taken into custody at his Boyle Heights home, officials said. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison on allegations that he masterminded a “pay-to-play” scheme involving real estate developers.
The mayor and other city leaders have been calling for Huizar to resign since his former special assistant agreed to plead guilty in the bribery scheme. The city council president pledged Tuesday to begin the process to remove Huizar, who has represented a district that encompasses downtown and the eastern part of Los Angeles since 2005, from office.
Prosecutors charged Huizar with one count of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Authorities allege the councilman and his associates violated multiple laws, including bribery, honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering.