H-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Nov 5, 2012 3:50 PM by Associated Press

Ex-Calif councilman sentenced in bribery case

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former Southern California city councilman has been sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to taking thousands of dollars in bribes from a marijuana dispensary owner seeking the city's permission to stay open.

Joseph Serrano was sentenced Monday in a Los Angeles federal courtroom. He faced up to 10 years in prison.

The former Santa Fe Springs councilman pleaded guilty to one count of bribery. Federal prosecutors said Serrano told the pot shop operator that he had influence over another council member and he would try to keep the business open.

Serrano admitted taking more than $10,000. Once payments were made, the store owner became an FBI informant and began recording conversations.

Serrano stepped down from his council seat in June.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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