Ousted Compton Mayor Omar Sues
Nov. 14, 2001
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Amid accusations of bribery, threats, and fraud, trial began Tuesday in a lawsuit that claims the city of Compton's new mayor stole the election.
Former Mayor Omar Bradley alleges in the civil suit that his rival, Mayor Eric Perrodin, conspired to defeat him by 261 votes in a June 5 runoff to lead the blighted city of 93,000 southeast of Los Angeles.
Bradley's lawyer, Bradley Hertz, said in opening statements that Perrodin's supporters pulled guns on voters at precincts, forged ballots from ``ghost voters,'' and bused non-residents to the polls. He also said there may have been counterfeit ballots.
If fraud is found, Hertz argued, the election should be overturned and Perrodin should be barred from holding office in California.
In a brief opening, Perrodin's lawyer said there was no evidence of misconduct and that even if there were, it wouldn't have changed the outcome.
Bradley and Perrodin have long feuded. Perrodin's brother, former Compton police Capt. Percy Perrodin, was dismissed along with the police chief by a Bradley-dominated City Council two years ago.
Hertz said city school board member Basil Kimbrew would testify that ``the election was rigged,'' that he arranged the printing of counterfeit ballots, and that he didn't turn over a stack of 169 absentee ballot applications to the city clerk.
But on the stand, Kimbrew instead accused Hertz of promising him $25,000 up front and up to $100,000 after trial to testify that there was corruption.
Hertz later said Kimbrew ``regaled'' him with corruption stories at four separate meetings this fall, and that there were witnesses.
Kimbrew, former campaign manager for City Council member Patricia Moore, has testified in the past that he laundered a bribe for her.