Jury Convicts Ex-mayor Wilson

Former mayor to be sentenced on June 2

Written by MATTHEW WONG / Published January 13, 2011 (ONLINE ONLY) 

After a week-long trial, a jury convicted former Temple City Mayor Cathé Wilson of six counts bribery and perjury charges.

The widely anticipated court case, which began in downtown Los Angeles on April 26, 2011, featured several key witnesses. Among those included the former Piazza project manager, the Piazza (now Gateway) developer, as well as Wilson and her friends.

The former councilwoman, who was accused of soliciting $10,000 in bribes from developer Randy Wang, maintained her innocence prior to and during the trial.

The prosecutor, deputy district attorney Sean Hassett, used audio recording from Wilson herself (which she denied), former project manager Jay Liyanage, and the developer to present his case.

On the second day of the trial, Liyanage broke down as he testified about his role: giving Wilson $30,000 in cash and acting as a liaison between Wilson and Wang.

Developer Randy Wang also took the stand. Wang spoke about his role, as well as former Mayor Judy Wong’s involvement.

In her own defense, Wilson argued that the contribution she received was considered a personal loan. She also denied asking for a condo from the Piazza project.

A minister and friend even testified on Wilson’s character as part of her defense, which was led by attorney Bob Wilson.

Following closing arguments, the jury delivered a guilty verdict on Tuesday, May 2. Wilson will be sentenced in June.

She may be given a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison.

The end of the trial closes a dark chapter in Temple City history, which led to two resignations from the City Council. Another former mayor is also currently serving a 16-month sentence for her role in the scandal.

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