District Attorney files charges against mayor of Palmdale

District Attorney Jackie Lacey has filed public corruption charges against Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford.  Ledford was charged with illegally receiving more than $60,000 a year from local consultants and failing to publicly disclose the income on annual Form 700’s aka economic statements. Two consultants were also charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds.

Also charged are Kimberly Anne Shaw (dob 9/2/55) of Yorba Linda and Susan Burgess Miller (dob 6/26/48) of Las Vegas.

Between Aug. 1, 2009 and May 3, 2017, the defendants utilized various shell companies to pay Ledford approximately $5,200 a month, according to the criminal complaint.
Shaw has been a consultant for the city of Palmdale for the past 20 years and with Miller’s assistance operates the AERO Institute, which receives more than $2 million annually from NASA.
Miller ran a company known as Complex Culture Change Consulting and hired Ledford in 2009. Over a four-year period, AERO Institute paid the consulting firm more than $13,000 every month and the company, in turn, allegedly paid Ledford $5,200 per month.
Prosecutors allege Ledford did not perform any substantive work for AERO Institute during that time frame.
In January 2012, the Palmdale City Council voted to boost Shaw’s consultant contract to an amount not to exceed $3.9 million over seven years. Ledford allegedly failed to reveal at the time that he was indirectly receiving income from AERO Institute, the criminal complaint said.
AERO Institute also has paid a $1 annual lease to Palmdale since 2004.
In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Ledford is accused of not reporting the income he received from AERO Institute on economic disclosure statements.
If convicted as charged, Ledford faces a possible maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison, while Shaw and Miller face up to four years in prison.

Ledford, 63, has served as the city’s mayor since 1992, and worked as a planning commissioner and councilman before that. In all, he has been involved in city government for more than 30 years.

One Response so far.

  1. ARTRA WYNN says:

    I wonder would this charge stick for public officials who have a non profit and it’s funded by possible city monies ????

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