Homes, offices of 3 Temple City officials searched

Authorities searched the Temple City offices and homes of the mayor and two council members Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations that they solicited tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for their support of a $75-million mall project.

Investigators from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office conducted the searches, which included the homes of Mayor Cathe Wilson and council members Judy Wong and David Capra, said Jennifer Lentz Snyder, assistant head deputy of the district attorney’s Public Integrity Division.

The homes of former City Council candidate Scott Carwile and Jay Liyanage, a former manager for the development, were also searched, Snyder said. Randy Wang, developer of the proposed Piazza at Temple City, said in court documents that Wong and Capra solicited bribes as a condition of supporting the project.

Wang also accused Wilson of demanding a condominium or $48,000 in cash for her help on the development. In previous interviews, Capra and Wilson denied the allegations. Wong declined to comment.


Last month, Wang’s attorney, Patrick Duffy of Monteleone & McCrory, said prosecutors had subpoenaed recorded telephone conversations between Wang and city officials.

Snyder declined to say what, if anything, was seized in Wednesday’s searches because the investigation of the city officials is ongoing.

The proposed mall project, at the corner of Las Tunas Drive and Rosemead Boulevard, calls for 124,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants, banquet facilities and a food court. The City Council approved the project in May 2006.

But the development was stalled once because of a dispute over the project’s management team and again after the city filed a lawsuit against Wang in April 2008 for failing to meet project deadlines, according to court documents.

In his response, as part of discovery leading up to a July 2009 trial, Wang made his allegations against the San Gabriel Valley city and the three elected officials regarding his project.