Lawyers for LA’s former deputy mayor will seek a mistrial based on juror’s comment

LOS ANGELES, CA- MARCH 26: Former Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan walks to the United States Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles for his trial on corruption charges on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Lawyers for LA’s former deputy mayor will seek a mistrial based on juror’s comment

LA Politics, Home News, California Politics

David Zahniser

March 29, 2024

An attorney for former Los Angeles deputy mayor Raymond Chan said Friday he would seek a mistrial after the judge revealed a juror had heard they wanted a “speedy” verdict.

U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter briefed attorneys on both sides of the case about the juror’s comment during a hearing on Friday, two days after Chan was convicted in a corruption case that focused on “pay-to-play” schemes involving real estate developers. and city officials.

Walter said he was told earlier this week that a courtroom deputy walked behind some jurors as they headed to their cars on Tuesday, not long after attorneys made closing arguments. The deputy heard one of the three jurors tell the others they hoped the jury would reach a quick verdict.

The deputy relayed that information to an employee in Walter’s courtroom. The judge said that after speaking with the deputy, he concluded that the information should be made public.

John Hanusz, who represents Chan, said he would file a motion for a mistrial and seek to have the judge interview the jurors. Hanusz said the jury reached its verdict “quickly” on Wednesday, deciding in less than two hours, even though there were 10 days of testimony and about 1,000 pieces of evidence.

“We will file a motion, that’s fair to say,” Hanusz told the judge. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Walter downplayed the significance of the revelation, saying that juries in two other corruption cases against City Hall, both of which targeted downtown real estate developers, also


almost verdicts. He said there was “substantial” evidence in Chan’s case, which resulted in his conviction


extortion, bribery, fraud and giving false statements to investigators.

Assistant. U.S. Atty. Cassie Palmer echoed the judge’s ruling, saying the juror’s comments seemed “innocuous.”

“It looks like they were talking about planning,” she said.


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