California-- In a whirlwind scandal, details are still emerging as a former congressional aide has been charged with accepting bribes from would-be dispensary owners. 44 year old Michael Kimbrew was the former aide to Rep. Janice Hahn. Hahn, who is now a Los Angeles County Supervisor, was at the time the Democratic State Representative from the California’s 44th District. Hahn served in office from 2011 to 2016, and denies any knowledge of the events. Hahn released a public statement stating “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.” Hahn was not listed in the indictment last week that led to Kimbrew’s arrest.
The documents available to the public so far claim that Kimbrew met with the owners of an undisclosed dispensary that was operating illegally. It goes on to explain that Kimbrew offered the owner “an agreement” for $5,000 that would help them become compliant with state regulations. The documents also state that Kimbrew allegedly claimed he could “make things happen” for the owner of the illegal operation to ensure that he would assist the illegal dispensary in acquiring the required permitting for operation and would also ensure that no authorities would be sent to the operation during the process. Kimbrew allegedly also claimed that he would not inform the former Representative Hahn of the dispensaries illegal operations or “agreement” with Kimbrew to ensure that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) wouldn’t be notified.
Turns out, the FBI knew about the illegal dispensary anyway. An undercover agent met with Kimbrew in the former Representatives office along with the owner - posing as a business partner - where the former aide claimed that he himself oversaw all activities in the state and that also worked for the federal government. Kimbrew is currently facing up to 18 years in prison if convicted, and his defense attorney has not yet made a statement.