COMPTON – 2UrbanGirls is in receipt of the following email where residents are voicing their concerns over what they believe to be an irregular appointment to the city council.
The council was previously warned by the LA County District Attorney’s office that an omission in the city’s charter doesn’t automatically default to a “yes”, when they got involved in a dispute regarding compensation of the council.
—– Forwarded Message —–From: Albert Robles <email@example.com>To:firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; Emma Sharif <firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Isaac Galvan <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 12:17:53 PM PDT
Subject: Concerning Illegal Appointment for First District And Demand For Cure
I have been contacted by numerous residents of the City of Compton to write you on their behalf concerning the matter of the illegal appointment of Ms. Deidre Duhart who at an illegal Compton council meeting was announced as the replacement to fill the unexpired term for the First District. Since there was no quorum present of the Compton City Council that any city business was conducted and/or announcements made by anyone other than to declare the meeting cancelled because of the lack of a quorum is illegal under the Brown Act.
But concerning the illegal appointment for the First District. As was correctly opined by that Compton City Attorney at the April 5th City Council meeting: He stated that pursuant to the Compton Charter three affirmative votes of the Compton City Council are required to approve anything and accordingly no appointment to the vacancy was permissible under the vote as recorded, i.e., two affirmative, one nay and one abstention. In fact the language of the Compton Charter at Section 607 cannot be any clearer as it expressly states “Unless a higher vote is required by other provisions of this Charter the affirmative votes of at least three members of the City Council shall be required for the enactment of any ordinance or resolution, or for the making or approving of any order for the payment of money.” In other words, the only exception to the rule that three affirmative votes are required is where the Charter requires a higher vote, which is inapplicable here.
Therefore, on behalf of the various Compton stakeholders who have contacted me, please do not violate the Compton Charter. I will remind you that a knowing and intentional violation of the Compton Charter constitutes a per se crime for which all participants are subject to prosecution. Compton Charter Section 1702 specifically states: “The violation of any provision of this Charter shall be deemed a misdemeanor and be punishable upon conviction by a fine of not exceeding One Thousand ($1,000) Dollars or by imprisonment for a term of not exceeding one year or by both such fine and imprisonment.”So, in this instance the otherwise available plausible argument of “not being aware” is not an applicable defense.
Moreover, as some of you may recall the California Supreme Court stated in a very high-profile case concerning a Bell Gardens Councilwoman that her claimed defense against criminal charges that she acted upon good faith reliance on the advise of the Bell Gardens City Attorney was invalid because such reliance was antithetical to public policy “and the attendant personal responsibility demanded of our officials.” People v. Chacon (2007) 40 Cal.4th 558, 571. The California Supreme Court held that: “The average citizen cannot rely on a private lawyer’s erroneous advice as a defense to a general intent crime. The defense of action taken in good faith, in reliance upon the advice of a reputable attorney that it was lawful, has long been rejected. The theory is that this would place the advice of counsel above the law and would place a premium on counsel’s ignorance or indifference to the law. Defendant cannot evade that rule by asserting the attorney who mistakenly advised her happened to hold a governmental position.” People v. Chacon (2007) 40 Cal.4th 558, 572. [Emphasis added.]
In summary, on behalf of the various Compton residents who have contacted me, please do not violate the Compton Charter and commit a crime pursuant thereunder, we urge you to do the right thing for Compton and for yourself.Albert Robles