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Is the Compton City Attorney contradicting himself

Will the Compton City Attorney need his own lawyer?  Compton City Attorney Craig Cornwell has advised the mayor and council that they can begin spending proceeds from the recent passage of Measure P but his latest advice contradicts his impartial analysis he provided voters.

In an issue that made national headlines, the current administration was accused of inflating their salaries.  Cornwell argued to the District Attorney’s office that Compton is a charter city and the charter didn’t say that certain commission seats came with a stipend/salary and since it didn’t, he advised council they could continue with the payments.

Related:  Compton officials have been illegally inflating their pay, district attorney says

After a lengthy meeting, and with the threat of criminal prosecution for doing so, Cornwell then reversed himself and directed the council to reduce their monthly pay back to $600 per month.

Related:  Compton council moves to cut ‘illegal’ payments to themselves

Cornwell held community outreach meetings on Measure P and what a “yes” vote on the ordinance would entail.  One crucial component, which ensured the measures passing, was the creation of the “Compton Taxpayers Committee”.

Here is an excerpt from Cornwell’s “impartial analysis” as found on Ballotpedia:

The tax is subject to an independent annual financial audit that will review whether the tax is collected, managed and expended in accordance with the requirements of the proposed ordinance. In addition, the sales tax ordinance requires the City Council to establish an independent Compton Taxpayers Committee to review the expenditure of the revenues raised by the proposed tax.

Keyword of the language is the ordinance “REQUIRES” that the committee be formed by council, it isn’t optional.

During the regular city council meeting held April 26th, the Compton Bulletin reports the following comments made by the city attorney in regards to spending proceeds from Measure P.

“Now the city may also say, as a business practice, we don’t wanna spend the proceeds…If the question to me is ‘is there a legal impediment to spending Measure P funds,’ my answer as City Attorney is no.”

Related:  Council discusses Measure P election lawsuit

2 Urban Girls contacted City Attorney Cornwell on June 20th asking if the committee has been formed, as required by the ordinance and his impartial analysis.

2 Urban Girls has not received a response from either his office and/or the City Clerk’s office who would have record of those the council appointed.

Ya girls also caught wind of another possible recall heading to the Hub City.  Target date?  When council goes dark.


4 Responses so far.

  1. Robert Ray says:

    Last year City Attorney Cornwell signed an agreement with the BOE stating that if a tax measure was challenged in court, all proceeds from that tax measure would we put into an interest bearing savings account. Earlier this year the superior court judge who is hearing the lawsuit “ordered” the city to not spend the measure P money. But Cornwell is telling the council they can spend the money and the city manager has planned to spend it in the 2017-18 budget which the council will vote on to approve tomorrow at 3PM. Both Lynn Boone and myself have warned of the consequences if they spend the measure P money and the court finds in favor of the people. If this happens, the city will have to return ALL of the measure P monies it received back to the BOE and then anyone holding receipts showing the collection of that 1% sales tax can take that receipt back to the store and get a refund. Now, if the city spends this money, how in the Hell can they return it to the BOE? They will be putting the city deeper into the hole it is already in.

  2. Ms. Halbig says:

    The Mayor of Compton Aja Brown is also trying to pull the wool again over the people of Compton by trying to sell the MLK Transit that the people of Compton paid for with their taxes to build. Ms. Brown NEEDS to go. She has gone to far selling out Compton.

    • 2urbangirls says:

      Didn’t she publicly shame former compton elected officials for selling city property?

      “Brown, in turn, had pointed to allegations of corruption that had marred Bradley’s tenure. Compton had been “plagued by corrupt elected officials that have fleeced the city’s assets, selling off revenue-generating enterprises and city property,” Brown told the Press-Telegram.”

  3. Ms. Halbig says:

    Mr. Cornwell has been told this my many that the Measure P money can not be spent until it has finished in the courts. The Mayor Aja Brown has given the raises to city council so that she could have one for doing nothing for Compton but selling it out from under the people. In my opinion it is past do the Ms. Aja Brown stop all her lying to the people of Compton and step down after she for sure cheated on the elections that we all can see. We want a re-call and re-vote. We feel the Mr. Omar Bradley really one the votes. And somehow City Clerk Ms. Godwin did something also with the mail in votes again.


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2 Urban Girls has been cited in City Watch LA, Compton Herald, Daily News, Inglewood Today, Intersections South LA, KCRW, KPCC, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, LA Watts Times, Mercury News and The Atlantic.

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