Former Santa Fe Springs Official Sentenced To Prison for Bribery

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LOS ANGELES - A judge today sentenced  a man who was a member of the Santa Fe Springs City Council to two years in federal prison for taking $10,000 in bribes from the operator of a marijuana store, according to U.S. Attorney's Office.

The operator wanted to influence the city to allow his store to stay open, according to federal authorities.

Federal judge Stephen V. Wilson ordered the former councilman Joseph Serrano Sr., 62, who served as the mayor of Santa Fe Springs from 2010 to October 2011, to pay $10,000 as restitution.

Wilson rejected a plea from Serrano's lawyer for probation, federal officials stated.

"This was pure greed. The defendant sold himself," Wilson said in a press release, adding the crime was "a serious offense that attacks the integrity of government."

On July 30, Serrano pleaded guilty to one felony count of bribery, according to federal prosecutors. 

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The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at