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Should the County Assessor Be Elected or Appointed?

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to ask voters if they agree with changing the state constitution to make the assessor an appointed post.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday adopted a resolution to ask voters if they support changing the state constitution to make the job of assessor an appointed, rather than elected, position.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich championed the issue. The District Attorney's Office is investigating allegations that employees of the county assessor's office worked hand-in-hand with tax agents to reduce property valuations in exchange for campaign contributions.

County Assessor John Noguez, who has claimed no wrongdoing, is on an indefinite leave.

A former appraiser, Scott Schenter -- who allegedly dropped property values in Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades by about $172 million - - was arrested in May. Schenter told the Los Angeles Times that Noguez had promised him a promotion and pressured him to extract campaign contributions. Schenter then unilaterally dropped the recorded values of some properties in order to help spur donations, he told the newspaper.

Schenter's alleged illegal activities may have been going on for nearly a decade -- well before Noguez won election in November 2010.

On July 31, appraisers in the assessor's office offered a union vote of "no confidence" in Noguez. About one-third of the 387 members represented by the California Association of Professional Employees returned ballots, and 92 percent of those voting favored Noguez' resignation, according to CAPE.

The California Constitution and the Los Angeles County charter would both need to be changed in order to give the Board of Supervisors the authority to appoint future assessors.

In a statewide vote in 1986, about 85 percent of voters favored elections as a means of selecting county assessors.

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abc August 09, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Do you really think the Board of Supervisors would do a better job of choosing the next Assessor? Four out of the five board members supported John Noguez. So guess who would have been the Assessor if the Board of Supervisors were to have picked the person they wanted in office. Guess who's interest that Assessor would have if he/she were picked by the Board of Supervisors. Also, do you think the Board of Supervisors have clean hands in this situation? I don't think so. They are as corrupt as this guy Noguez, if not more. If the news dig further into this situation and inquire about "pink specials" there are plenty of familiar names that have asked for "status checks".

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