Rosemead ex-mayor John Tran sentenced to 21 months for corruption

File photo: Rosemead.
File photo: Rosemead.
Photo by Andreas Metz via Flickr Creative Commons

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Ex-Rosemead mayor John Tran was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for witness tampering and lying to the FBI in a corruption case involving a San Gabriel Valley real estate developer. The sentence marks another step in the fall of a once-promising elected official.

The case stems from a deal in which Tran accepted a $38,000 bribe for helping a Rosemead real estate developer obtain permits to construct an office building, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

In a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop bribery and extortion charges, while Tran agreed to plead guilty to witness tampering. During a meeting at a Starbucks in 2011, he asked the developer to lie to a grand jury by denying that she had met with him or paid him any money, according to prosecutors. 

Tran also pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents. He told the FBI the money was a campaign contribution. In addition to nearly two years in prison, Tran was ordered to pay $38,000 in restitution.

Tran, 38, was first elected to the Rosemead City Council in 2005. He served as the city’s first Asian-American mayor from 2007 to 2009.   

In 1999, when he was 23 years old, he was elected to the Garvey School District Board of Education — the youngest person elected to the board.