The former major of Rosemead, CA, John Tran, 36, pled guilty to accepting more that $10,000 in bribes from a real estate developer. His guilty plead helped Tran avoid federal charges of extortion and obstruction of justice. Tran faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines when sentenced.
As a member of Rosemead’s city council in 2005 and mayor from 2007 to 2009, Tran took a series of bribes from the developer in exchange for approval of development plans. Political opponents claim that others have suspected Tran of “pay-to-play” politics even before the charges were filed.
Editorial: We love the Vietnamese community, that’s why we’re also its biggest critic. As a public figure, John Tran had the responsibility of representing Vietnamese Americans in the public eye. He failed grossly. His greed and lack of moral character are not representative of the Vietnamese community, but with so few of us in the national spotlight, our reputation is inevitably damaged. As Vietnamese Americans make inroads in US politics, we must become mindful of our public image and the message we send to the next generation.
John Tran had no responsibility to represent Vietnamese Americans in the public eye. Tran was the mayor of all the people of Rosemead not just of one ethnic group. He failed everyone. … Power corrupts and there’s nothing new here.
Tran is his own doing, nothing has to do with his ethnicity as a Vietnamese. If he were Madoff what would we say?
Madoff? –no, no, no; Madoff would consider $10,000 dollars as merely chump-change; it would be walking-around money for the day. … If the bribe were, say, 10 million dollars, –then you could use Madoff as an analogy.