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Cudahy city manager and city attorney fired, other officials placed on leave

March 28, 2011 |  9:17 pm

The Cudahy City Council, in a short, hastily called meeting Monday night, fired controversial, longtime City Manager George Perez, who has run the tiny southeast Los Angeles County town for more than a decade.

The council, voting 4 to 0 in closed session, also fired longtime City Atty. David Olivas, replacing him with Arturo Fierro, a partner in a firm that also represents Chino and Rialto.

The council placed City Clerk Larry Galvan and Human Resources Director Crystal Hernandez on administrative leave. Galvan promptly filed his retirement papers, saying “it was a pleasure” to have worked for the city.

Olivas, too, said “it was an honor” to have worked for the city since 2000.

Perez did not attend the meeting. Councilman Juan Romo was absent.

The vote marks the latest political upheaval in the small communities that dot southeast L.A. Neighboring Bell has been rocked by a sweeping public corruption scandal after revelations by The Times about the high salaries paid to eight former officials. The state Legislature is considering a bill that would disincorporate Vernon, where the former city manager was indicted last year. And Maywood is struggling to recover after disbanding its police department and contracting out many city services to Bell.

After announcing the changes, Cudahy Mayor Josue Barrios, elected to the council in 2009 and appointed mayor last week, said Perez was fired “for cause,” though he gave no specifics.

Perez’s contract with the city, signed in 2008, provides that he be paid 18 months’ salary — which began that year at $172,548 — if he is terminated for any reason other than the commission of a felony involving personal gain.

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-- Sam Quinones in Cudahy

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