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Longtime Vernon mayor, scion of ruling family, convicted of voter fraud

A former mayor of Vernon and his wife were convicted today of voter fraud and conspiracy, capping a three-year legal saga that ended the family’s long grip on the tiny industrial city in southeast Los Angeles County.

Prosecutors accused Leonis and Dominica Malburg of engaging in an elaborate sham in which they pretended to reside in Vernon while they actually lived in a large home in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman.

“Many, many politicians ... claim they can run for office where they don’t really live,” Huntsman said. “That’s against the law. Our result here today says that unequivocally.” 

Although the charges carry a potential prison sentence, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson indicated that he would not sentence them to serve any time behind bars, Huntsman said.

Leonis Malburg was mayor of the city for more than half a century until he resigned earlier this year. His grandfather founded Vernon and the family name graced a street, a power plant and other features. Most of the town’s residents — who number fewer than 100 — work for the city or are family members of city employees, dependent on Vernon officials for their income.

Allegations that the Malburgs did not live in the city have dogged them for years. Prosecutors filed charges in 2006. During their probe, investigators uncovered evidence that their adult son, John, had sexually abused children.

In April, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

--Jack Leonard and Hector Becerra

 
Comments () | Archives (11)

Being a mayor for over fifty years and don't live in the city? Maywood City Council is next.

Vernon should be disincorporated and perhaps even dismembered, parceled out among its crushingly impoverished neighbors Maywood, Huntington Park, and Bell. There is absolutely no reason for parasite jurisdictions like it and City of Industry, which differs from Vernon only by degree.

Even the mayor of Vernon does not want to live there.

What ???

What ???

"...Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson indicated that he would not sentence them to serve any time behind bars..."
What was the point of prosecution? Mikey and Leo must belong to the same country club. Both are disgraces to democracy.

does this mean there is an opening? I wouldnt mind being a mayor of 90 people.

OK, How about Paul Krekorian who is running for LA-CD2 but lives in Burbank? No outcry there!

from the mountains to the shores of california there seems to be an uncanning notion for elected officials to involve themselves in criminal acts and is this a form of organized criminal activity with CA. elects===and you wander why CA. can't get funding by the goverment on special issues.you suffer from wide spread mismanagement of federal, state, county and city funds and tax payers money by young and old elected officials. You've seem the movie let your computers solely run you state, they won't lie to you or steal from you hopefully(LOL)!

Maywood is next.

Looks like Maywood Councilwoman Ana Rosa Rizo who was living in Santa Barbara when she ran for council, and first got elected, and now conveniently moved back home with mommy and daddy, has so far been lucky to elude the law.

Her sister's house up in Ventura is a favorite spot of hers.
She keeps going around saying dirty things about people. The residents don't really like her and she doesn't have any friends because of the way she disrepects and talks of others.

Hopefully the lead testing program she voted for and the lax auditing of city hall, catches up to her and the authorities realize that she supported this program and gave it to her campaign manager in order for him to make money. Federal funds and city funds used for lead testing which is supposedly not taking place. This should be investigated because no property owner or renter in Maywood has seen the lead testing program take place.

A ghost program, maybe the lead testers and campaign manager did testing in Vernon?


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