Former Hahn aide Michael Kimbrew indicted
If convicted of the two counts Michael Kimbrew faces a maximum 18 years in federal prison
Michael Kimbrew, son of former Compton Unified School District board member Basil Kimbrew, indicted on bribery charge of extorting $5,000 from Compton pot shop; trial set for Sept. 26
LOS ANGELES – The Federal trial for a former staffer of the U.S. Congress, arrested in July on federal extortion and bribery charges, begins Sept. 26.
Michael Kimbrew, 44, of Carson, who worked for L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn when she served in Congress, faces charges of allegedly taking $5,000 with promises of helping to prevent the closure of a Compton marijuana shop.
He was arrested without incident by special agents with the FBI.
Kimbrew was taken into custody pursuant to a two-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury. Kimbrew is charged with one count of attempted extortion and one count of receiving a bribe.
At his arraignment, Kimbrew pleaded not guilty and was ordered freed on a $15,000 bond. He was ordered to stand trial on Sept. 26.
According to the indictment, Kimbrew approached an employee of the marijuana shop, told him the store was violating the law and said the shop would be shut down – unless the owners reached an agreement with him.
Kimbrew subsequently met with the owners of the marijuana shop inside Compton City Hall. The indictment alleges that Kimbrew claimed to be working with the FBI, and he could “make things happen” by ensuring the store had the appropriate permits in exchange for $5,000.
According to the indictment, an undercover FBI agent posing as a business partner met with Kimbrew, who reiterated his claims he could prevent the shutdown of the shop in exchange for $5,000. In a second meeting between Kimbrew and the undercover agent, Kimbrew allegedly accepted the $5,000 bribe.
If convicted of the two counts in the indictment, Kimbrew would face a statutory maximum sentence of 18 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lindsey Greer Dotson of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.
In a statement, Hahn said, “I’ve always trusted my employees to have the same sense of public service that I do. If these charges are true, Mr. Kimbrew abused his power as a representative of my office and violated both my trust and the trust of the public.”
Kimbrew is the son one-time Compton Unified School District board member, Basil Kimbrew. The senior Kimbrew has had his own troubles with the law, including a conviction for misappropriating funds from the school board, and a plea of no contest to charges of lying on City of Compton election forms.