Former mayor steps down to focus on pending trial.
Written by MATTHEW WONG / Published November 4, 2010 (ONLINE ONLY)
Temple City Councilwoman Judy Wong has resigned her post, effective immediately.
Wong, the first Asian mayor of Temple City, made the surprise announcement Tuesday evening.
“It is great sadness that I need to inform you that I am resigning my position from the Temple City City Council,” she said at the end of the March 2, 2010 city council meeting.
“I have diligently served this city for seven years and have fond memories of the wonderful people I have served,” an emotional Wong stated. “I am proud of my record and accomplishments for this city and I leave with a heavy heart and immense gratitude for the honor the people of this city has given me.”
Wong was first elected in 2003 and was re-elected with the most votes out of all the other candidates in 2007. She was often seen as a bridge between the Asian and non-Asian community.
In her statement Tuesday, Wong noted that she was resigning to focus on her pending trial.
“As the court has progressed, it has become increasingly difficult for me to juggle my responsibilities as a city council member and at the same time to assist in the preparation of my trial defense,” she said.
Wong faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and four months in prison if she is convicted of charges alleging solicitation of bribery.
In 2008, Piazza developer Randy Wang accused Wong and other city officials of asking for bribes in exchange for support of his controversial mixed-use development.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office soon launched an investigation. Last June, Wong and former Temple City Mayor Cathé Wilson were indicted by a grand jury.
Both Wong and Wilson return to court on March 5.
News of Wong’s resignation was a surprise to the district attorney’s office.
“Apparently, we were not aware Judy resigned…last night,” Jane Robison, the district attorney’s spokesperson, reportedly said.
Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman noted he was “pleased” with Wong’s decision, but that it would not affect her pending trial.
“I’m pleased she stepped down,” Huntsman told the Pasadena Star News.
Meanwhile, the former Temple City mayor maintained her innocence, as she has indicated repeatedly in the past.