Compton Mayor Aja Brown presided over a full agenda for her last city council meeting as the city’s mayor. The council engaged in a heated discussion when the item came before them.
Councilwoman Emma Sharif was concerned that key provisions in the termination clause were removed.
“Termination for malfeasance, misconduct, or prosecution has been removed and I don’t believe it should have,” said Sharif. “I’ve spoken to the incoming council members who feel we may tie their hands by passing this contract extension.”
Cornwell has been on the council agenda on numerous occasions related to Government Code Section 54957, to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee or to hear complaints or charges brought against the employee by another person or employee unless the employee requests a public session.
Cornwell was named in a pending lawsuit JCJ Corporation v Compton related to allegations Cornwell, and code enforcement officers were performing illegal search and seizures of marijuana dispensaries, while serving as the city attorney.
Mayor Brown became concerned about possible Brown Act violations due to Sharif discussing the item with members of the public.
“I believe this is a Brown Act violation,” said Brown.
“This is not a Brown Act violation as these discussions took place once the agenda item became part of the public record,” responded Sharif.
“Your salary survey included the cities of Inglewood, Lakewood, and Pasadena which are nowhere near the same as Compton,” said Galvan.
Residents had the same issues when City Attorney Damon Brown proposed a salary increase for himself, using salaries of cities with larger populations and general operating revenues.
The item fell 2-2, with Councilmembers Galvan and Tana McCoy voting no, Brown and Councilwoman Michelle Chambers voting yes, and Mayor-Elect Emma Sharif abstained.
The new members of the city council will be sworn in July 1st, and Cornwell’s current contract expires in July too.