Saturday, August 8, 2009

It May Be The Dawn Of A New Era, But First Let's Review Carson's Chronology of Chaos

Hopefully, the re-election of Mayor Jim Dear, who himself had a rocky first term, will bring political peace for the City of Carson. Only 41 years old, this city has seen more than its fair share of political corruption.(Photo from the official website of the City of Carson)

Timeline of Trouble

  • September 10, 2002 former Mayor Michael Mitoma pleads guilt for defaulting on $3846 worth of taxes out of his official salary in 1995 and 1996, LA Times reports.
  • November 22, 2002 former Mayor Daryl Sweeney and former Mayor Pete Fajardo are arrested and charged with extorting money from businesses for three years. Former council members Raunda Frank and Manuel Ontala are charged with related crimes, LA Times reports.
  • January 30, 2003 Former Mayor Pete Fajardo pleads guilty. Former council members Raunda Frank and Manuel Ontala sign plea agreements, LA Times reports.
  • July 30 2003 Former Mayor Daryl Sweeney pleads guilty, LA Times reports.
  • February 15, 2005 The twelfth person is convicted in Carson corruption ring, LA Times reports.
  • July 20, 2005 Robert Dennis Pryce Jr, the lawyer who brokered the $585,000 corruption deal, gets 6.5 years in prison, LA Times reports.
  • In 2006 a political activist group called Carson Citizens for Reform begins a movement to recall current Mayor Jim Dear.
  • October 2007- then Mayor Pro Tempore and former council member Elito Santarina says he witnessed Mayor Jim Dear call council member Lula Davis-Holmes a “bitch” during a private argument. Dear denies that this ever happened. (Photo from the official website of the City of Carson)

  • November 2007- Council member Mike Gipson disturbs a council meeting by refusing to sit down and "challenging a member of the audience to a fight," as Dear describes it. (Photo from the official website of the City of Carson)
  • January 2008- former Mayor Vera DeWitt charged with misdemeanor battery after hitting one of the mayor’s supporters on the head with a bunch of papers. YouTube video “Carson City Council SMACK” receives over 500,000 views.

  • April 17, 2008 Former Mayor Vera DeWitt reaches court settlement to avoid criminal prosecution and jail sentence, LA Times reports.
After more than 7 years of political unrest, let's hope Mayor Jim Dear still believes the words he said in 2008-“I want to make Carson a great city, it can be done,” -despite having what he called a "dysfunctional" city council.

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