Sentencing was delayed for a 67-year-old former Los Angeles County Planning Department employee accused of collecting $500,000 to issue illegal certificates to landowners. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Pounders put off sentencing for Emmet Taylor after one of his attorneys failed to appear because he was tied up by another trial and the defendant presented to the court information about his health problems. “They came in with this weird medical affidavit that the defendant has all kinds of problems. He needs eye surgery and can lose his eyesight,” Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba said. “But there was no motion attached to it. I think they are postponing the inevitable.” Sentencing was delayed until Nov. 29. Taylor’s attorneys could not be reached for comment. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Taylor pleaded no contest in May to three counts of falsifying public records after prosecutors agreed to dismiss 94 other counts. He faces up to four years in prison. Taylor was charged with collecting the money in fees to issue the illegal certificates for hundreds of acres in Agua Dulce and Malibu. He had worked in the Planning Department for 20 years before he came under suspicion in August 2000. Taylor later sought to withdraw his plea, saying he did not fully understand the consequences, including parole, and that he was impaired after taking a higher-than-normal dose of sedatives the morning of the plea. Pounders in September denied Taylor’s request, based on the parole argument. Taylor appealed that ruling, but his appeal was denied by the 2nd District Court of Appeal. Taylor withdrew his motion to nullify his plea because he was impaired, Torrealba said. Prosecutors said Taylor ran a private company out of his home, forged grant deeds and issued fraudulent land-division certificates that bypassed the normal public review process. The certificates were issued over a five-year period to landowners who avoided public hearings, thousands of dollars worth of fees and other requirements to subdivide property, according to prosecutors. Officials said Taylor’s activities came under suspicion when one of his clients sent him payments – so-called “consulting fees” – to a county government address rather than to his home. Taylor was fired in November 2000 and arrested two years later after an investigation by county officials, who reviewed more than 1,000 certificates of compliance dating back to the early 1990s. The investigation led county officials to question all certificates of compliance, causing delays for property owners who sought permits to build on their land. In many cases, officials said, property owners seemed to be trying to avoid setting aside part of their land for road easements. In some cases, a property owner went through the usual public-hearing procedure and got permission to cut his land into smaller parcels, but applied for a certificate saying the land had been subdivided years earlier. That meant the owner didn’t have to give up land for roads, investigators said. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!