Former Mayor Pleads “No Contest” to Bribery and Perjury Charges

Judy Wong faces a maximum of 16 months in jail.

Written by MATTHEW WONG / Published April 1, 2011 (ONLINE ONLY)

Temple City’s first Asian ex-mayor on Thursday, May 26, 2010, entered into court a plea of “no contest” to multiple counts of bribery and perjury.

Judy Wong, 54, now awaits sentencing in July.

She faces a maximum of 16 months in jail, according to Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett. Hassett took over the case in May from Max Huntsman, also a deputy district attorney.

Wong and other city officials have been accused of soliciting bribes from Piazza developer Randy Wang.

According to a press release issued by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office on May 26, 2010, “Wong was charged with asking for and receiving about $13,100 in bribes in 2007 and 2008.”

Before Wong stepped down from the City Council in March, she had reiterated her innocence.

The former city official was offered a plea bargain of two years in prison, but she rejected it.

Sanford Perliss, Wong’s defense attorney, told the Pasadena Star News that his client thought she was set up and had some of her comments misunderstood by officials.

As a result of the controversy, Wong decided to plea “no contest,” he said.

“This is a woman who for over a year has had this hanging over her head and she can’t take it anymore,” Perliss was quoted as saying.

Her sentencing will be delayed until July so that she can find a caretaker for her elderly mother, according to a Pasadena Star News reporter, who was in court on Thursday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg, who has presided over the case since the beginning, will sentence Wong.

Also, Cathe Wilson, the other ex-mayor charged with bribery and perjury, will return to court on July 23 for another pre-trial hearing.

Meanwhile, the man behind the controversial allegations remained unharmed and ready to present revised versions of the Piazza at Temple City.

Randy Wang, who just returned from a major trade conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, currently has two proposed ideas.

The first plan is akin to a traditional strip mall, City Manager Jose Pulido previously said. The development would be 50,000 square feet and would include one restaurant.

Wang’s second plan is more of an urban center that is approximately 67,500 square feet. This development plan would include two restaurants, as well as outdoor dining areas. In addition, two medium-sized retail pads will be available.

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