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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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  • Thomas Nast says:

    “Noguez was arrested in 2012 on charges…….”
    “Prang, a longtime friend and known associate of Noguez”
    Know the tree by the fruit it bears- Prang is nothing more than an unqualified crony of an Noguez. Does Prang think he’s gonna get endorsements from the same fools who endorsed Noguez? He was unemployed and looking for a job when Noguez brought him in to the Office to be a “liason” to mollify the BOS about Noguez allegations. So, it stands to reason that he assisted Noguez in the subsequent attempt to cover up the alleged malfeasance. The DA should be investigating Prang to see if he is complicit in crimes after the fact. He is an embarrassment to the Assessors’ office. Why does executive staff tolerate his continuing charade that he is “working” in the Assessors’ office? Media should look into that.

  • Vic Fetterman says:

    Prang would not elaborate on his ongoing relationship with Noguez? WHAT is he hiding? He should be excoriating Noguez. Fervently disavowing Noguez. This guy is delusional, and not fit to hold office, let alone a job in the Assessors’ office. I’ll bet he campaigns on County time and has office staff help him, and the current executive staff looks the other way or encourages him outright.

  • Harvey Schmendrick says:

    So- Stven Afriat- a long time friend and campaign manger of Noguez-(look on Afriat’s website- quick- before he removes it)and friend of Prang as well- is gonna collect 500K for Prang- DA, ARE YOU WATCHING? Noguez deja vous- all over again…follow the money and connect the dots. What arrogance and elitism. All these people are involved in an incestuous orgy of corruption.

  • JASON Vega says:

    Prang cannot be trusted. His failure to disavow his relationship with Noguez is a major red flag! Noguez was known to be corrupt when he was on the Huntington Park council. He had ties to convicted (former) Bell councilman George Cole. If they were close friends as Prang says they are, you better believe he knows more than he’s saying. This nonsense has to end. Tell these guys to stop playing politics with tax dollars

  • Wayne Carter Sr. says:

    I think it unfortunate that Mr. Prang is immediately assumed to be guilty, or capable of someday being guilty, of committing the crimes that Mr. Noguez is accused of. Personally, I think Mr. Prang is displaying a great deal of professionalism by not bad-mouthing the embattled Assessor. I believe that the Assessor deserves a fair trial and justice would not be served if candidates to replace him all presume him guilty. I am disappointed that the press would participate in coercing any potential candidates to jump on the bashing bandwagon, their role is report the jury’s verdict, not decide it for them.

    Mr.Prang has served on the West Hollywood City Council for 16 years and that accomplishment in itself certainly justifies his candidacy. With that said, I would certainly be disappointed if this newspaper begins a negative crusade against the man simply because he’s an acquaintance of Mr. Noguez. As I recall, four out the five LA County Supervisors endorsed the man. What if one of them decided to run for this position? Would this paper criticize one of them for their past actions as well?