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Vernon, CA Paychecks Rival Those In Bell

The Los Angeles Times continues its investigation of the payrolls of (Democrat) California city bosses:

Hefty paychecks for Vernon officials rival those in Bell

The ex-city administrator who now serves as a legal consultant earned seven figures in each of the last four years, records show. Others in Bell’s neighboring city got $570,000 to $800,000 last year.

August 20, 2010 | By Kim Christensen and Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times

Bell isn’t the only city that has paid huge salaries: In neighboring Vernon, a former city administrator who now serves as a legal consultant has topped the $1-million mark for each of the last four years, records show. Eric T. Fresch was paid nearly $1.65 million in salary and hourly billings in 2008, when he held the dual jobs of city administrator and deputy city attorney, according to documents obtained by The Times through the California Public Records Act.

Described by city officials as an experienced finance attorney, Fresch was paid nearly $1.2 million last year, records show. Through July 31 of this year, he has earned about $643,000 as "outside legal counsel."

Other highly compensated employees include Donal O’Callaghan, who was paid nearly $785,000 last year as city administrator and director of light and power, overseeing Vernon’s city-owned utility. He now earns $384,000 a year overseeing capital projects for the utility after stepping down July 20 as city administrator.

Former City Atty. Jeffrey A. Harrison earned $800,000 last year and City Treasurer/Finance Director Roirdan Burnett made $570,000, records show. The year before, Harrison was paid $1.04 million

Although Vernon and Bell share a border in Southeast Los Angeles County, they are very different cities. Bell is a working-class, largely immigrant city with 38,000 residents. Vernon has fewer than 100 residents and is largely a business and industrial hub

Vernon officials defended the salaries Thursday, saying that Fresch, O’Callaghan and others brought a level of expertise the city otherwise would not have had.

They also noted that the City Council has done away with a two-tiered pay system that allowed some officials to bill for hours worked beyond a normal 40-hour work week. The extra pay did not count toward retirement benefits, they said…

"Vernon’s goal continues to be to bring to the city the most highly trained experts in the field with the best, most creative thinking to solve its challenges," interim City Administrator Mark Whitworth said in a letter with the city’s response to The Times’ records request…

Vernon City Council members are paid $68,052 each year, far greater than in most cities in Los Angeles County, according to a Times survey.

Founded as an industrial city, Vernon has built its economic well-being on a base of about 1,800 businesses…

Vernon has long been dogged by accusations that it is a fiefdom run by a family that has held sway over the town for generations.

Perhaps they meant ‘thief-dom.’

In January, former Mayor Leonis Malburg was ordered to pay more than $500,000 in fines and reimbursements to the city after his conviction for voter fraud and conspiracy charges, bringing an ignoble end to his lengthy reign as Vernon’s patriarch.

Malburg, the grandson of Vernon’s founder, served on the council for five decades.

Although prosecutors had asked for jail time, Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson cited Malburg’s age — 80 — and his medical history in deciding against incarceration.

Malburg’s wife, Dominica, 83, was ordered to pay more than $40,000 in fines and fees.

In December, the judge found the couple guilty of engaging in an elaborate scheme in which they pretended to live in Vernon while actually living in a Hancock Park mansion.

Former City Administrator Bruce Malkenhorst Sr., who according to the records obtained by The Times made $911,563 in 2005, was later indicted on public corruption charges.

Still, Malkenhorst retired with a then record state pension of $500,000. Malkenhorst, who rode to work in limousines, is accused of taking $60,000 of city money for personal use. He is awaiting trial

And, once again, you can bet Vernon and Bell City are just the tip of the iceberg. These outrageous salaries are being paid out to government ‘officials’ all across the fruited plain.

We are living in a new feudal society. The Ruling Class run the city, county, state and federal government. And we peasants work more than half the year to keep them in the style to which they have become accustomed.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 23rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Vernon, CA Paychecks Rival Those In Bell”

  1. proreason says:

    “We are living in a new feudal society”


    The last 230 years were one of those eye blinks that occur from time to time.

    The interesting thing about it though, is that this time the serfs have volunteered to go back into slavery.

    It cost the Ruling Class $400 per serf.

  2. jimreport says:

    It basicly means that not one citizen in the entire jurisdiction ever bothered to glance at the line item city budget. Available by calling the city clerk and saying – send me the budget, now!

    They deserve to have to pay those salaries if they let it happen.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      It was stated on Fox News this morning that only about 100 people live there and the rest was industry and business.
      Vernon, California has been stealing from the tax coffers of business, me thinks.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Then comes the part where I laugh heartily. Businesses move to a lower-tax area and the democrats scream bloody murder because their beloved cash cow has died. Then, they criticize the “evil-selfishness” of the businesses when it’s really themselves they should be mad at. Rather than being able to understand their self-inflicted pain, they lash out with empty, echoic rhetoric that the socialists in the media are all too ready to pick up and broadcast.

      Speaking of “broadcast” I give a head nod to Rush who left NY due to obscene taxes and who moved to FL. As long as socialists see businesses as a source of “free money” the problem will perpetuate. Thus, the places where businesses will gravitate to will be third world nations where taxes have yet to harm the companies’ income. Isn’t irony ironic?

      Logic is truly a gift from God, I suppose and is awarded to and used only by those who understand its universality. That is, it applies to everything and doesn’t play favorites.

  3. tranquil.night says:

    I’m actually very confused about why the LA Times is breaking all this ahead of the election. Presumably they’re at the aid of Democrats and AG/Gov. candidate Jerry Brown who’s being put in a very awkward position here I would’ve thought. Unless all these charter kingdoms are just being brought to the chopping block to make Brown look like an honest sheriff (when he’s a typical Corruptocrat) while every Republican in the state sours on lying Meg Whitman – I fail to see the angle.

    More to come, that’s for sure. Whew, is it getting hot here in Cali.

    • proreason says:

      No party mentioned. Most will assume they are Republican. Fat cats, right?

      You can bet they wouldn’t have printed it if they thought otherwise.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Good call Pro, serving your name proud as always. My Mom’s cousin is a sports correspondent for LAT. It’s no secret they’re hemorrhaging money like the rest of the State Propoganda Network, but it’ll be a cold day in Hell before the editors go rogue with that publication. Seems like a nice little win-win scheme they got going – the illusion of hard-hitting people’s reporting and more than a glancing shot at getting a Kook Lunatic in the captain’s chair of the country’s leading meltdown state.

  4. misanthropicus says:

    … and the huge detail that is absent in all the exposes about thepoliticl corruption in these plase is…. that everybody is a Democrat there.
    Al, all, all these operators are Democrats…

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