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Search Warrants Served at Chicanos Por La Causa Headquarters

• via Yahoo! News

by 3TV

Posted on December 10, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Updated today at 1:51 PM

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office served search warrants Thursday morning at the Chicanos Por La Causa headquarters at 11th Street and Buckeye Road.

The warrants are in reference to the grand jury indictment earlier this week of County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.

Wilcox was charged with 12 counts of conflict of interest and eight counts each of perjury, forgery and false swearing. She is accused of failing to report an alleged conflict of interest in voting issues affecting CPLC after taking personal loans and business loans from the organization.

No one from CPLC has been indicted or criminally implicated.

Because a statewide conference for members and associates of CPLC is being held at the headquarters Thursday, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, deputies will not evacuate the building during the execution of the search warrant as a courtesy to attendees.

Chicanos Por La Causa issued the following statement Thursday morning:

Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. is cooperating fully with the search warrant delivered by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office this morning. Because of the search warrant, we have been advised by our attorney to make no further comment at this time.

The organization also released a statement on December 8:

Prestamos CDFI LLC, the small business lending subsidiary of Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC), has made loans to El Portal Restaurant, which were guaranteed by Mary Rose Wilcox and her husband Earl. These loans were made in accordance with Prestamos’s strict underwriting guidelines.

Prestamos creates economic opportunities for small and emerging small businesses in Arizona as part of CPLC, Arizona’s largest community development corporation. Prestamos provides loans along with technical assistance to small businesses that enhance the community by creating jobs and economic opportunities.

In order to receive a loan from Prestamos, applicants must meet certain criteria. The Prestamos Small Business Loan Committee, made up of community members, must review and approve all loans. The Wilcox business applied for loans, which were approved after they went through the normal review process by the loan committee. Mrs. Wilcox did not receive special treatment, nor was she denied the opportunity to receive a loan from Prestamos because of her position as an elected official.

The following is the loan history:

November 2000 -- loan for $7,500, paid in full as agreed
July 2005 -- loan for $50,000, paid in full as agreed
October 2008 -- loan for $120,000, current
Multiple lien records appear on the public record, but the total of the three loans was $177,500

CPLC takes any inquiries related to our business operations very seriously. We are committed to the continued economic development of our community, and we strive to maintain the high ethical standards that have driven our organization for the past 40 years.  

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