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Search warrants for LA County assessor

April 25, 2012 at 7:59 PM

LOS ANGELES, April 25 (UPI) -- Investigators searched the Los Angeles County assessor's home and 11 other locations after a former official accused the assessor of political corruption.

Los Angeles district attorney investigators issued search warrants at Assessor John Noguez's downtown headquarters, satellite offices, two Internet service providers and the Phoenix home of businessman Ramin Salari, who contributed campaign funds to the assessor, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. Salari, a friend of Noguez, had received large tax reductions for residential and commercial properties.

Authorities issued the search warrants in response to a former county appraiser's assertion that Noguez pressured him to raise funds for his election campaign in 2010.

Scott Schenter told the Times Noguez promised him a promotion for securing financial contributions.

Noguez "called me a few times just to say, 'Hey Scott, we need more people; we're way behind in donations,' " Schenter said.

Louis Reyes, Noguez's spokesman, said the assessor "never offered Scott Schenter a promotion."

Schenter resigned in 2011 after his supervisor discovered he reduced the taxable value of 151 properties in the county without explanation or authorization, the Times said.

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