Jim Graham just told a horde of reporters that he’s “deeply troubled at the indictment of Teddy Loza.” This afternoon brought news that Loza, Graham’s chief of staff, has been indicted on charges of accepting bribes in exchange for influencing legislation on taxicab regulation.
Looking to get a jump on his side of the story, Graham described Loza, a nine-year aide, as someone “I have grown to trust and have confidence in.”
In his remarks to the press, Graham noted that the 44-year-old Loza, a native of Ecuador and a permanent U.S. resident, recently informed him that he was the subject of an FBI investigation. Graham aggressively tossed aside the notion that he had any involvement with the activities of Loza and “Individual No. 1,” the cash-wielding taxicab industry lobbyist in the indictment. To support his contention, Graham circulated copies of the search warrant that authorities used to raid Graham’s council office today. The warrant does not seek records or files maintained by Graham himself and focuses on Loza’s office.
Furthermore, Graham denied that Loza had ever lobbied him or exercised any influence whatsoever on taxi legislation. “Loza has never to my recollection spoken to me about any element of any taxicab bill I was considering. I have no reason to believe that there’s any wrongdoing by any [other] member of my staff. I am very concerned about what I’m hearing and I’m going to get to the bottom of this,” said Graham.
According to the indictment, Loza accepted cash from “Individual No. 1” because he said he needed it. When asked about Loza’s financial situation, Graham declined comment.
File photo by Darrow Montgomery