Lancaster mayor's wife doing community service
The wife of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris is getting “invaluable” experience as she serves 120 hours of community service -- her penalty after being cited for carrying a loaded handgun through a security checkpoint at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport earlier this year, Parris told The Times on Tuesday.
Carrol Parris, who was stopped by TSA officials in June after the image of a firearm showed up in her carry-on bag as it went through an X-ray check, has been working at the city’s neighborhood health and wellness homes and at a local law center, her husband said.
According to the mayor, his wife’s duties have included offering guidance to the children at the home, working in the facility garden and interviewing impoverished people seeking legal assistance. When one of the homes was recently vandalized, Carrol Parris arranged for contractors to do repairs, her husband said. She started her service a couple of weeks ago and has been putting in 16 hours a week, he said.
“It’s opened a whole new world to her,” Parris said. “The kids are falling in love with her.”
The mayor has called the incident an innocent error, and has said his wife was in a hurry and forgot that the handgun was in her bag as she headed to the airport for a trip to see the couple’s newborn twin grandchildren in Sacramento.
The mayor said his wife had taken shooting lessons and began carrying a firearm after her husband worked to prevent the Mongols motorcycle club from conducting business in Lancaster. Police cited Carrol Parris for carrying a prohibited item in a secured area, and she was released at the scene. Last month, attorneys appeared on her behalf at the Burbank Courthouse, Parris said.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita