Redondo Beach

Former City Councilman Walter Mitchell Jr., convicted in 1983 of corruption charges stemming from his role in winning council approval for a condominium conversion project, began serving his sentence this week in a federal prison in Texas.

Prison officials said that Mitchell, 37, will spend six months in La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security institution near El Paso.

Mitchell, who was recalled from the council in 1980, sparked a furor in 1979 when he lobbied for council approval to convert the 385-unit Brookside Village apartment complex to condominiums.

Prosecutors charged that in exchange for his lobbying effort, Mitchell received private contracts to paint the condos. He was convicted under a federal mail fraud statute and also for having understated his 1980 income by more than $40,000.

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