Monday, July 2, 2012

Osvaldo Conde of Cudahy

You've heard the complaints about journalism these days...reporters and publishers are out for the quick headlines and don't have the patience or resources to dig a little deeper. The heyday of investigative journalism is in the past.

I found the local reporting about the arrests of Osvaldo Conde, David Silva, and Angel Perales, all of whom are Cudahy city officials who accepted a total of $17,000 of bribe money from a confidential informant, to be weak. We learned on Friday, June 22nd that the FBI swooped in and arrested the three, and we gleaned some more information from a criminal complaint filed by a Special Agent of the FBI.

That was the easy information. So where's the in-depth research into the backgrounds of these three screw-ups? It's too simplistic to say that unchecked political power corrupts. What was their personal motivation? I want to know more about their families, their assets, their cronies, their political daddies, their political beneficiaries.

I read that Conde was arrested after a stand off at his jewelry store in Cudahy. For a city as small as Cuday, it took a quick Internet search to track down the property. I drove by last week...take a look at the George Washington bust that's at the bottom of a pole sign advertising the businesses on the lot. You can't make this stuff up...the plaque from 2002 notes that the sculpture, honoring "the liberator, soldier & exemplary citizen" was donated by "Osvaldo M. Conde & Family."

Another search reveals that the site, located at 4949 Clara Street (or officially 7619 Wilcox Avenue -- take your pick), was marketed as an REO (Real estate owned) property in 2010. That tells me that Conde has long been in financial trouble, and if you're looking for motivation for corruption, that's a starting point. Somebody needs to take this information and run with it!

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