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Scandal-Plagued Vernon Pushes Back Against Takeover

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If you passed by City Hall yesterday, you would have seen giant Teamster trailers parked outside the building. How those giant trucks avoided getting ticketed (or maybe they did) wasn't clear, but the trucks were there to send a message to LA's City Council, and to Assembly Speaker John Pérez, who was at City Hall yesterday to get support for his bill to effectively dis-incorporate the tiny city of Vernon (population: 90). In the end, the council voted to back Perez's bill (but for now, they're putting off talk of LA annexing the city). There's no question that rampant shenanigans have been going on in Vernon, and "Pérez said his top priority at this point was eliminating what he described as an 'unprecedented and unequaled level of corruption" in Vernon's municipal government,' according to the Los Angeles Times. But as the Times notes, "Opponents of the bill, however, questioned Pérez's intentions. Some said they believed the bill was an attempt to seize Vernon's tax base." And because they're so wealthy, Vernon is fighting back. From the New York Times: "It has hired a fleet of some of the highest-paid lobbyists, lawyers, political consultants and communications experts in the country. Lawyers are being paid $550 an hour and lobbying firms $12,000 a month. Vernon officials argued that businesses would shut down if Vernon is disincorporated, that the Legislature has no legal standing to abolish it and that corruption here has been cleaned up."
· L.A. City Council backs plan to dissolve Vernon's cityhood [LA Times]
· Plan Would Erase All-Business Town [New York Times]