A judge refused Wednesday to lower the $1.16 million bail of jailed Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, who is accused of misappropriation of public funds for allegedly lowering property tax bills for campaign contributors.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba denied the defense's latest bid seeking to reduce the bail for Noguez, who has remained jailed since his arrest Oct. 17.
The judge said she believed that Noguez should not be treated any differently than any other inmate who appears in court in custody.
Torrealba noted that the 47-year-old defendant was an "elected official" who is accused of an "abuse of trust," and said that his ability to post the bail was not a factor for her consideration.
Noguez is due back in court Jan. 22, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial on 13 counts of misappropriation by a public officer, five counts of perjury, four counts of accepting bribes and two counts of conspiracy -- all felonies.
Noguez is charged along with Mark McNeil, a principal assessor promoted by Noguez to head the Major Appraisal Division, and Ramin Salari, a tax consultant and contributor to Noguez. McNeil and Salari are both free on bail.
Salari, 49, is charged with 23 felonies -- 13 counts of misappropriation, eight counts of bribing an executive officer and two counts of conspiracy.
McNeil, 54, is charged with 13 felony counts of misappropriation by a public officer and one felony count of conspiracy.