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Former Compton Mayor Omar
Bradley, Two Others Convicted


February 10, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Joe Scott, Director of Communications
Sandi Gibbons, Public Information Officer
Jane Robison, News Secretary
(213) 974-3525


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 announced.

The same jury that convicted Bradley and the others after 2-1/2 days of deliberations returned not guilty verdicts on two other council members.

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 arraignments.

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 sentencing.

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.

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