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News

A.M. Brief: Former Councilman Sentenced in Huizar Corruption Probe

January 26, 2021 by Brian Champlin
Grand Park fountain and city hall
Photo credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Another day, another former city official headed to prison in the sprawling corruption probe centered around Jose Huizar. Also this morning: It’s been one year since Kobe died, restaurants prepare to reopen for outdoor service, and a new ruling on whether churches can hold indoor service during the pandemic. It’s Tuesday. Here is your news brief. Take it!

Morning News Rundown

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for his part in a corruption scandal at L.A. City Hall centered around disgraced former councilman Jose Huizar. Englander pleaded guilty to one count of scheming to obstruct an FBI investigation. [LAist]

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On Jan. 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. Exactly one year later, the void left by Bryant’s passing looms large for those within the Lakers team and organization as they attempt to honor his legacy. [L.A. Times]

Yesterday, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the statewide Stay at Home order, meaning all counties moved back to a tier reopening structure, with most of the state remaining in the purple (most restrictive) tier. L.A. Public Health and the County Board of Supervisors announced the reopening of multiple business sectors, including outdoor dining. Outdoor service at restaurants may resume as soon as Friday. [We Like L.A.]

The FBI is investigating the detonation of a homemade bomb at the First Works Baptist Church in El Monte, which caused some damage but no injuries. First Works has recently been the subject of protests denouncing the church’s promotion of anti-LGBTQ attitudes. At this time, investigators are not aware of any connection between protest groups and the bombing.  [L.A. Times]

On Monday, a federal appeals court offered a mixed bag to churches and indoor worship centers hoping to bypass COVID-19 restrictions. The order, given in response to a case brought by the Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church, says the state can’t impose limits on indoor attendance. At the same time, the panel affirmed the state’s right to ban indoor worship during times of widespread infection. [L.A. Times]

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