MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BRIBING A WESTMINSTER CITY PLANNER TO EXPEDITE BUILDING PROJECT

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
August 11, 2006
Contact:

Susan Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 323-4486 Cell

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BRIBING A WESTMINSTER CITY PLANNER TO EXPEDITE BUILDING PROJECT

SANTA ANA – Building designer Trung Hieu Vo, 63, plead guilty today to a felony for attempting to bribe a Westminster city employee in order to speed up the progress of one of his building projects.  Vo plead guilty to the court on charges of bribing a ministerial officer, employee, and appointee.  The plea was not negotiated with the prosecutor.  He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and three years of formal, supervised probation. 

On April 10, 2006, Vo attempted to bribe Westminster city planning official, Sammy Rake, in order to expedite a building project expanding a retail center located at the corner of Brookhurst and McFadden.  Vo had been displeased with the progress of his building development, and in hopes of encouraging Rake to hasten the speed of the project, gave him an envelope with $1,000. He instructed Rake to look at the contents at a later time.  Rake was suspicious before he opened the envelope and notified police immediately.  Vo was arrested on April 25, 2006 and released on his own recognizance on April 28, 2006. 

“Having honest public officials is an integral part of democracy and efficiency of
our system.  Mr. Vo tried to interfere with public integrity and now will be held accountable, “ stated Deputy District Attorney Scott Steiner of the Felony Projects Unit, who prosecuted this case.

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