There is a strong smell of collusion in Compton City Hall. The excitement of new leadership on the council dais has been replaced with the appeared continuance of distrust. The latest issues surround the peculiar contract for the new City Manager and the appointment of a City Attorney who isn’t eligible for the position.
While serving in the capacity of City Attorney, Craig Cornwell handpicked several law firms that received millions of dollars in contracts out of his office. One of those firms wrote Cornwell’s city manager contract.
Councilman Isaac Galvan publicly admonished the contract which allows Cornwell to seek other employment while serving Compton residents. Typical City Manager contracts voted on by the Compton City Council forbid the City Manager from doing so.
Apparently Cornwell doesn’t want to limit his employment options in case he needs to make a hasty exit.
Galvan questioned whether the city had any documents, in writing, with the auditors alleged recommendation to have Cornwell replace former City Manager Cecil Rhambo. The city was never able to produce such a document.
Cornwell was appointed to the position on a 4-1 vote with Galvan being the lone dissenter.
Damon Brown is not eligible to be the new City Attorney. City Clerk Alita Godwin made several references to the poorly written resolution to appoint Brown which doesn’t become official until August 1st. Brown registered to vote in the city on July 1st, the day before the regular city council meeting held July 2nd when Cornwell announced his resignation as City Attorney.
Brown’s recommendation for City Attorney was also written by a law firm hand selected by Cornwell during his time as City Attorney.
Brown was voted in by Compton Mayor Aja Brown, and Councilmembers Michelle Chambers and Emma Sharif. Tana McCoy abstained and Galvan voted no.
The council didn’t put either of the positions out for an open application process citing the “cost”. However this is the same council who found money to run a special election for Measure P’s passage.
A former elected official reached out to 2UrbanGirls and had this to say.
The Compton community needs to be outraged at the decision of appointing a new City Attorney to replace Mr. Cornwell. It is no disrespect to the now incoming City Attorney Mr. Brown but the Compton Charter is clear about being a Compton resident/voter for 30 days. What I did find interesting is how Mrs. Godwin made it clear numerous times the Mr. Brown is qualified to hold the seat “based on the way the resolution is written”. A quick scroll to the bottom of the resolution is dated “August 1, 2019” not “July 23, 2019” because as of the vote Mr. Brown is not qualified to hold the seat.
I guess this is the “New Compton” I’ve been hearing about! Using past/anticipated cost of a special election was just a smoke screen to distract and take away the voice of Compton residents.
Well versed on the City Charter