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Vernon's watchdog says city misled him on promotional advertisement

April 2, 2011 |  4:29 pm

A prominent attorney who was hired by Vernon to do an independent audit of its scandal-tainted City Hall criticized city officials for misleading him into cooperating with a promotional ad he thought was a newspaper story.

The ads, which appeared in several newspapers this week, show two photos of former state Atty. Gen. John K. Van de Kamp and include an interview in which he discusses the report he was commissioned to write about the industrial city south of downtown Los Angeles.

Van de Kamp said the city arranged for him to be interviewed by a reporter. But officials did not tell him it was for a large, full-color advertisement touting the virtues of the embattled city. He said he didn't know about the ad until he saw it in the Pasadena Star-News on Thursday morning.

"I'm not here to … flak for the city," Van de Kamp said. "We're out here trying to do a straightforward, objective job. So that format is a problem for me."

Read the full report on the Vernon promotional ad here.

-- Sam Allen and Hector Becerra