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Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown issues subpoenas to Vernon officials, seeks oversight of Bell

Stepping up the heat in both Bell and Vernon, California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown filed a motion seeking to force Bell to accept a court-ordered monitor and issued subpoenas to Vernon officials.

In Bell, Brown wants the monitor to oversee the city's operations and finances and ensure that the city's upcoming elections run smoothly. Three council members are facing a recall. Only one councilmember, Lorenzo Velez, has not been arrested in the corruption sweep.

"In both cities, independent scrutiny is essential in restoring public trust," Brown said in a written statement. "The public has suffered from raiders who plundered the city treasuries. The people deserve to know that the guilty individuals will be held accountable and that their tax dollars will no longer be siphoned into exorbitant salaries."

In the Vernon subpoena, Brown is seeking to obtain testimony from city officials regarding the compensation and retirement benefits given to Eric T. Fresch, former city administrator and deputy city attorney; Donal O'Callaghan, former city administrator and utilities director; and several other city officials.

The Times reported that Fresch was paid nearly $1.65 million in salary and hourly billings in 2008, when he held the dual jobs of city administrator and deputy city attorney. O'Callaghan was paid nearly $785,000 in 2009. Former City Atty. Jeffrey A. Harrison earned $800,000, and City Treasurer/Finance Director Roirdan Burnett made $570,000.

O'Callaghan was indicted Tuesday by a Los Angeles grand jury on three felony counts of conflict of interest and misappropriation of public funds.

-- Kimi Yoshino

Comments () | Archives (6)

Those salaries are outrageous. Now, multiply what happened in Vernon and Bell x 1,000 other cities/towns in California. These crooks and unions/pensions have ruined this state.

Jerry Brown did a good job issuing subpoenas to Vernon city officials. However, what did he do for Meg housekeeper Diaz who falsified documents? Nothing! Shame on Jerry!

It's a good thing it's an election year. Things are moving more rapidly than a snail's pace. Glad to see they are doing something and are more visible to us, the public, after all these years in office.

About bloody time. Vernon has been uninvestigated open secret for far too long. PS, I personally think its a stretch to blame labor unions for the real estate developer inspired idea of charter cities with special privileges, or a city run by a cabal of business owners, but some people seem to like the exercise.

Theses pensions are not the Unions Fault.
Let me explain.
A pension is agreed upon with both employer and union!
So how could it be the Unions fault?How about the employer who agreed to the Benefits?How can you critisize the Unions for negotiating well for there members?
How to fix the problem is to have a guaranteed pension fund that is contributed every fiscal year by at least 80% on recession years and 100% every non recession year!

When will you haters give a solution instead of just critisizing the workers for negotiating a good contract?

Mr. Brown, When can taxpayers see an investigation into UC regents conflicts of interest (Specifically Richard Blum) and a subpoena for the Chancellor of UC Berkeley for the misappropriation of 14 milion in public funds to buy Cal Athletics Department a new football stadium?


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