S. Calif. Water Board Member Pleads Guilty To Taking Bribe

Dec. 9, 2003

A Carson, Calif., water district board member pleaded guilty to charges he took a $25,000 bribe in exchange for voting to award a financial contract.

Tyrone Smith pleaded guilty to seven felony counts in federal court Monday. He faces up 30 months in prison, but his sentence will be reduced if he cooperates in an ongoing investigation.

Smith is the 11th defendant to plead guilty as the result of an investigation into municipal corruption in Carson – about 20 miles south of Los Angeles.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Hueston said Smith has agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and resign from the West Basin Municipal Water District Board.

Smith admitted that in 2001 he accepted $25,000 from a New York investment banking firm. At that time, the firm was representing a group bidding to refinance the district's $142 million debt.

Source: The Associated Press

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