Two former Lynwood City Council members were convicted July 31 of corruption charges for misusing city credit cards and illegally accepting increased pay.
The two city officials were found guilty of misappropriating public funds by accepting tens of thousands of dollars for stipends for sitting on public commissions that did little work. Both Louis Byrd and Fernando Pedroza received less than $10,000 annually for serving on a part-time City Council, but with added pay for time spent serving on public commissions, Mr. Byrd received an annual salary from the city of $112,000 and Mr. Pedroza received an annual salary of $72,000. Additionally, the two men were charged with abusing their positions by billing the city for inappropriate expenses, such as a $1,500 night out at a Guadalajara strip club.
Attorneys are hoping to make similar legal arguments regarding commission-related pay for officials in the City of Bell. Both cities are located in Los Angeles County. (Source: Los Angeles Times, July 31.)