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No evidence of business violations by City of Industry mayor, officials say

An inquiry into the city business connections of the mayor of the City of Industry has found no evidence of violations, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

According to memos and correspondence obtained Thursday, prosecutors closed the case involving Mayor David Perez last month.

The inquiry was initiated in 2009 after a complaint from an Industry businessman who cited the Perez family's ownership of companies with exclusive trash-hauling and maintenance contracts in the city.

Investigators found that the family's business agreements were in place before Perez became mayor in 2001. And a review of city records found Perez had not violated the law because he had abstained from voting on matters involving the contracts, according to David Demerjian, head of Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's Public Integrity Division.

Perez could not be reached for comment. Previously, he told The Times he had taken care to follow the law and avoid self-dealing violations. Among other things, he said he had relinquished involvement in the day-to-day operations of the family businesses and did not discuss contract matters with city officials.

The Times reported in 2009 that the trash-hauling operations partly owned by the mayor and his brother, who is an Industry planning commissioner, collected $12 million from the city in the previous 12 months alone. Another Perez partnership collected several million dollars more to maintain city landscaping, remove graffiti and perform other services.

A heavily industrial and commercial town in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, Industry raised its profile two years ago by backing billionaire Ed Roski Jr.'s plans for an $800-million National Football League stadium near the intersection of the 60 and 57 freeways. A competing $1-billion NFL stadium has been proposed for downtown Los Angeles, near Staples Center.

Cooley's office also investigated an allegation by the same businessman that he was pressured to hire a consultant to help with city issues. But investigators found insufficient evidence to pursue a criminal case, records show. A separate case involving a complaint that about a dozen city officials and voters did not live in the city also was closed. Investigators found that the officials and most of the voters were city residents.

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