Ex-Baldwin Park Councilman Took Tens of Thousands in Bribes

Former Baldwin Park City Councilman Ricardo Pacheco has pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting $37,900 in bribes. The plea was made in June of last year but was only publicly revealed last week when court documents were unsealed. It explains Pacheco’s June resignation, which was mandated by the plea agreement.

According to the documents, Pacheco accepted the bribes from a Baldwin Park police officer who began working with the FBI after the councilman approached him in 2018. The councilman was handed $20,000 in cash at a coffee shop. Pacheco asked that some of the other payments be directed to his church and some “sham” political action committees he’d established.

In exchange for the money, Pacheco voted in favor of the Baldwin Park Police Association contract with the city in March 2018. He is now facing up to 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for August 2.

The most intriguing part of the plea agreement is what’s not there. The Department of Justice redacted dozens of pages, including portions related to illegal payments Pacheco received from unnamed sources.

This is an ongoing corruption investigation with potentially more to come.