On Tuesday, a judge ruled that a lobbyist at the center of a campaign finance scandal could be released from federal jail.
Marco Polo Cortes, 44, was held over the weekend after refusing to surrender to federal agents at his Little Italy apartment.
Cortes’ sister put up her house as collateral so he could post the $100,000 bond. The judge ordered that Cortes must stay in Southern California and cannot travel to Mexico.
A preliminary hearing for Cortes is scheduled for Feb. 14.
Also on Tuesday, the Symbolic Motor Car Company released the first detailed statement on behalf of Marc Chase, who is also implicated in the scandal:
Mr. Chase and the Symbolic Motors Team would like to thank all of those who have reached out with their kind words in the past few days. We would like to thank all of our friends for your continued support. Mr. Chase and Symbolic Motors cannot comment on the current investigation that has been reported in the press but will do so at the appropriate time.
The statement goes on to talk about Chase’s business successes and philanthropic work.
Prosecutors say a billionaire Mexican businessman, identified as Jose Susumo Azano, funneled more than $500,000 into local campaigns. It is illegal for foreign nationals to contribute to U.S. elections.
Neither Susumo nor Chase has been charged in this case, but three others, including Cortes and former San Diego police detective Ernesto Encinas, have been.
Those criminal complaints indicate that Chase acted as a “Straw Donor” by funneling at least $180,000 of Susumo Azano’s money into independent campaigns benefiting mayoral candidate Bob Filner and congressional candidate Juan Vargas.