COMPTON – Former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley, the Compton
city manager and a council member were convicted today of
misappropriating public funds, the District Attorney’s office
The same jury that convicted Bradley and the others after 2-1/2
days of deliberations returned not guilty verdicts on two other
Bradley, 45, of Compton; City Manager John D. Johnson II, 47, of
Fontana; and council member Amen Rahh, 55, of Compton, were remanded
into custody by Superior Court Judge Jack W. Morgan. He ordered
90-day diagnostic studies for the defendants and scheduled
sentencing for May 7. Each faces a possible maximum state prison
term of five years.
"This sends a clear and unmistakable message to those in public
office: Don’t take the people’s money and don’t abuse the powers of
your office," District Attorney Steve Cooley said in a prepared
statement. "If you do, we will prosecute you as we continue to fight
public corruption both big and small."
It was Cooley who established a Public
Integrity Division when he took office in early December 2000.
Attorneys in PID, as it is called, have successfully prosecuted
former officials in several cities in Los Angeles County and have
several cases either nearing trial or under investigation.
Cooley praised the worked of Deputy District Attorneys Kerry
White and Terry Bork, who prosecuted Bradley and the others. White,
meanwhile, noted the District Attorney’s commitment to good
government as evidenced by the establishment of PID.
Bradley and the others each were convicted of the two counts
against them – misappropriation of public funds and unauthorized
loans of public money. The charges were brought against the
defendants on Feb. 27, 2003, in a Los Angeles County Grand Jury
indictment. The defendants had remained free on bail since their
The jury found council members Delores Zurita, 67, and Yvonne
Arceneaux, 57, not guilty of the same charges. Both women left the
courtroom with their lawyers prior to Judge Morgan ruling that the
three remaining defendants be remanded immediately into custody.
Bork, in asking that the three be jailed, noted that the crimes
for which they were convicted carry a presumptive state prison
sentence and they should not be allowed to remain free until
Bradley and the others were convicted of misappropriating public
funds between Sept. 1, 1999, and Aug. 7, 2002. The money,
prosecutors said, were used for personal trips and other events for
which the city paid. For instance, testimony during the trial showed
that some of the money was used by Bradley to play golf.