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Prosecutors Probe Calif. Mayor

January 18, 2000

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) _ The district attorney’s office is investigating whether the mayor and others at City Hall violated election laws by allowing as many as 15 people to use their home addresses to register to vote.

The municipal code says no more than six people not related by blood or marriage can live under one roof. It’s a felony under state law to knowingly register to vote using an address where one doesn’t live.

But voter records signed under penalty of perjury show Mayor Omar Bradley shares a modest ranch house with 15 people. The house is owned by Bradley’s sister, school board member Carol Bradley Jordan.

In addition to the mayor, also registered as living there are city consultant Melvin Stokes and his wife, Carolyn, and Frank Kahlil Wheaton, the spokesman for Bradley and the city of Compton. The other three live elsewhere.

Councilwomen Delores Zurita and Marcine Barnett Shaw each share their homes with eight people.

Activists say the registrations are the latest indication that elected officials for years have been trying to sway city elections by helping family members, friends and supporters gain voter eligibility by offering them an address to list.

Bradley said that Compton residents have large extended families with many of them moving in and out of the same home over the years and forgetting to update their voter registrations.

``My explanation for anybody who has a lot of people registered at their house ... is that in Compton, it’s a tradition,″ Bradley said. ``We don’t move our voter registration.″

Prosecutors are investigating.

``We would want to determine whether there were any violations of the election code,″ said Clifford Klein, head prosecutor in the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office of special investigations.

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