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EXCLUSIVE: West Hollywood Councilman Jeffrey Prang Enters Los Angeles County Assessors Campaign

West Hollywood City Councilman Jeff Prang.  Photo from the City of West Hollywood Website.

West Hollywood City Councilman Jeff Prang. Photo from the City of West Hollywood Website.

By Brian Hews

Jeffrey Prang, a member of the West Hollywood City Council and a top aide to indicted Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez will be a candidate in next year’s campaign to be Assessor of Los Angeles County, Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper has learned.

Prang, 51, who currently works inside the Executive Office of the Assessor’s office told HMG-CN on Wednesday that he decided to enter the June 2014 campaign “during the last ten days, but I have been thinking about this for some time now.”

Prang joins a growing list of hopefuls wanting to replace Noguez in next year’s election including Deputy Assessor John “Lower Taxes” Loew, Deputy Assessor  Omar Haroon, former Assessment Appeals Board Chairman John Y. Wong and Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Morris.

Noguez and three others were arrested in 2012 on charges of criminal forgery, accepting bribes, and other felony charges in what former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley called the “biggest public corruption scandal in the last 40 years.”  Noguez is still the Assessor but has been on a paid leave of absence for the past year, and is still collecting his $202,000 per year salary as well as medical and retirement benefits.

Prang, a longtime friend and past political ally of Noguez said that the embattled Assessor is “aware of my plans on running next year.” Prang would not elaborate on his current relationship with Noguez in any specific detail.

“I have been a member of this office for 20 years. For the past 14 months I have been part of the reform team. We need an Assessor who has the commitment, trust to turn this office around, and I plan to work very hard in this campaign,” Prang said.

Prang has been worked in and out of the Assessor’s office for the past two decades in various administrative functions. “This is not a sexy office. This is an administrative office. We have to make this office accountable,” Prang said.

“John Noguez knows about my campaign. His opinion about my campaign is not relevant. I have a strong reputation as a leader here in West Hollywood,” Prang said.

Prang has already reached out to local elected officials throughout LA County in an “informal” basis during the past week. He said he is anticipating that his campaign for Assessor “will cost around $500,000.”

Prang’s campaign will be overseen by longtime friend, and political adviser Steve Affriat.

Prang, now 51, has been a member of the West Hollywood City Council since 1997 and has been Mayor on four different occasions.  He and his life partners Raymundo Vizcarra were married in October, 2008.

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