Lynwood corruption verdict: A Times Google+ Hangout
The Times will host a Google+ Hangout at 5 p.m. with reporter Abby Sewell and city editor Shelby Grad on the verdict in the Lynwood corruption trial.
Two former Lynwood council members accused of misusing city credit cards and illegally boosting their salaries were convicted Tuesday in a case that could have far-reaching legal consequences for local government officials.
Louis Byrd and Fernando Pedroza were found guilty of misappropriating public funds following a month-long trial in which prosecutors used a novel legal argument that the officials broke the law by accepting tens of thousands of dollars in stipends for sitting on city commissions that appeared to do little, if any, work.
Similar charges have been leveled against council members in Bell, where stipends for sitting on various commissions -- in some cases for meetings that never took place or lasted only minutes -- boosted the annual pay of most of the council members to nearly $100,000.