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Longtime Vernon official says he'll cut ties with city

November 15, 2011 |  7:48 pm


Eric T. Fresch, a longtime Vernon administrator and attorney, announced that he will terminate his contract with the city next year, officials said.

Fresch was paid as much as $1.65 million in annual compensation during his tenure in Vernon, which began in the 1980s. His salary and that of other top city officials helped spark an unsuccessful effort earlier this year to disincorporate the tiny industrial town.

He informed the city Tuesday that he will end his representation of its power utility on May 1, 2012, according to a letter released by the city.

“We will work closely with Mr. Fresch to effect a smooth transition of his work to a new consultant that would be capable of providing the city with expert legal and financial services,” City Administrator Mark Whitworth said in a statement.

The announcement of Fresch’s departure came after a tense public meeting Tuesday morning in which Vernon’s City Council approved an additional “pass-through” charge for utility customers despite opposition from local business representatives, who have been critical of the city’s financial decision-making.

Fresch had maintained a low profile in the last year as Vernon fought the disincorporation legislation in Sacramento. However, officials say he is still involved in managing the city’s finances and is helping the city plan for an upcoming bond issuance.

News of Fresch's letter was first reported Tuesday by the L.A. Weekly.


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Photo: City of Vernon. Credit: Los Angeles Times