The L.A. County district attorney’s office refiled public corruption charges against former county tax assessor John Noguez, a top official in the assessor’s office Mark McNeil, and Arizona tax consultant and Larson O’Brien client Ramin Salari, the L.A. Times reports.
Mr. Noguez, Mr. McNeil, and Mr. Salari were first accused in 2012 of charges including conspiracy, bribery, and embezzlement. After the L.A. County district attorney’s office failed to file a charging document within 15 days of the preliminary hearing in 2018 where the judge found sufficient evidence for the initial claims to stand trial, the Court of Appeal of the State of California ordered all charges to be dismissed on May 22, 2020.
The ruling did not prohibit the case from being refiled, however. Although the L.A. County district attorney’s office refiling was not unexpected, the charges were, as partner Stephen G. Larson told the L.A. Times as Mr. Salari’s defense attorney, “completely meritless, both legally and factually.”
“I’m disappointed in the [district attorney’s] office. I don’t think they thought this through,” Stephen explained. “They should have used [the appellate ruling] as a time out to re-evaluate the evidence. This case is going to be driven into a brick wall. It’s really problematic on many levels.”
In addition to Stephen, Mr. Salari is represented by partner Kori L. Bell and associate Andrew J. Bedigian. The breaking story will be updated by the L.A. Times. Read the full article by Matt Hamilton of the L.A. Times covering the refiling here.