Former Baldwin Park city councilmember pleads guilty to receiving nearly $38,000 in bribes

A former Baldwin Park city councilmember has pleaded guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Baldwin Park police officer working at the FBI’s direction, in exchange for political support of the Baldwin Park Police Association’s contract with the city, the Justice Department announced.

Ricardo Pacheco, 58, pleaded guilty on June 15 to a federal bribery charge. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors unsealed documents containing criminal information against Pacheco, as well as portions of a plea agreement in which he agreed to fully cooperate in.

According to the DOJ, "the unsealed plea agreement contains a redacted statement of facts to protect the integrity of ongoing aspects of those investigations".

The unsealed documents reveal that Pacheco admitted to soliciting and receiving a total of $37,900 in bribes from a Baldwin Park police officer from January through October 2018 to support and vote for the Police Association’s contract.

Officials say the police officer made the payments at the direction of the FBI after two officers approached the FBI and agreed to assist in its ongoing corruption investigation.

In exchange for the payments, Pacheco voted in favor of the Police Association contract in March 2018.

Documents show that payments to Pacheco included a $20,000 cash bribe in October 2018. Pacheco also solicited and received $17,900 in checks that he directed be made out to his church and sham political action committees he had set up.

As part of his plea agreement, Pacheco resigned from his City Council seat in June. He also agreed to forfeit $83,145 in cash proceeds seized by the FBI.

Pacheco was elected to the City Council in 1997 and served as mayor pro tempore in 2018.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

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