Baldwin Park Code Enforcement Officer Arrested
Posted in the Rowland Heights Forum
#1 Jan 21, 2014
Calif.- BALDWIN PARK - A city code enforcement officer was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes from a massage parlor in exchange for information about police raids, police said Thursday.
A police sting operation at Green Spa massage parlor Monday led to the arrest of Baldwin Park Code Enforcement Officer George Rodriguez, said Baldwin Park police Chief Lili Hadsell.
Rodriguez did not answer several calls Thursday to a phone number listed to his name.
Police had been investigating Rodriguez since gang unit officers raided Green Spa, 13020 Francisquito Ave., several weeks ago, Hadsell said.
A worker at the massage parlor told officers they paid Rodriguez money in exchange for information about police raids and inspections, Hadsell said.
"At this point we think that it was only one business and we think it was going on for a year or so," Hadsell said.
Rodriguez, of Bell Gardens, was arrested on suspicion he accepted bribes and obstructed a police investigation, police said. Rodriguez was released on a $25,000 bail Monday evening.
Detectives declined to say what investigation he obstructed.
Three people have been arrested on prostitution charges at Green Spa massage parlor in the past 10 years, according to police records. In 2006, another person was detained but later released.
Rodriguez was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday, said Baldwin Park Community Development Manager Marc Castagnola, who oversees the code enforcement department. Rodriguez was the senior code enforcement officer of the six in the department. He had been working for the city for almost 10 years, Castagnola said.
"This came as a big surprise to everyone," he said. "He was doing a good job."
Castagnola said he couldn't understand how, if true, something "like this could have happened."
"(Code enforcement officers) are never alone. They always have a partner when they are working on a case," he said.
In the past six months, Rodriguez had not been assigned a case in that location, code enforcement records show.
Police said they will present evidence to prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office early next week, Hadsell said.
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