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Hawthorne's Mayor Daniel Juarez charged with perjury again

Hawthorne Mayor Daniel Juarez was charged with four counts of perjury Thursday, marking the latest allegations the city leader has faced in connection with campaign financing.

Juarez, 60, is expected to surrender to authorities and be arraigned in Los Angeles’ airport courthouse Thursday afternoon. If convicted, he could be removed from office, officials said.

The mayor was previously indicted on perjury charges in October. The new charges against Juarez stem from an investigation into that case, officials said.

According to Thursday's indictment, Juarez received a $2,500 check from the American Youth Soccer Organization, which the group thought was going toward a memorial fund for a fallen police officer.

Instead, Juarez allegedly deposited the cash into his personal account.

Last year's indictment also involved an allegation that Juarez improperly deposited money into his personal account.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman told The Times last year that Juarez had asked the owner of a Gold's Gym in Hawthorne for $2,000 and deposited it into his personal bank account in 2010.

The money was used to pay off a campaign debt, prosecutors said.

The gym closed its doors in 2012 after filing for bankruptcy protection and defaulting on a $2.5-million loan from the city.

David Demerjian, head deputy district attorney for the D.A.'s public integrity division, told The Times in October that any elected official receiving money must report it, and that Juarez failed to follow the law.

Demerjian also said at the time that being convicted of perjury would mean Juarez would be “immediately removed from office.”

Juarez was elected to the Hawthorne City Council in 2007 and was part of a "reformer" group that took control of the council after former Mayor Larry Guidi was arrested.

Guidi, who dominated Hawthorne politics for nearly two decades, was charged in June 2010 with the theft of a commercial food mixer from the Hawthorne school system, where he worked as a warehouse operations manager.

Guidi pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to a felony grand theft charge and was sentenced to one year on probation and 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutors said a security camera caught Guidi taking the bulky item along with its stand.

According to prosecutors, Guidi used the appliance for a backyard pizza oven, which he was so proud of that he posted images of it on his Facebook page.


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