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U.S. city to be deprived of cityhood due to corruption scandal
Issue Time:2010-12-07

Vernon, a small city near Los Angeles, will be deprived of cityhood due to a corruption scandal involving city officials, according to reports here on Sunday.

A bill aimed at dissolving the city is being prepared by State Assembly Speaker John Perez, a Democrat from Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times said on its website.

Perez's bill would mandate the disincorporation of any city with fewer than 150 residents, and Vernon is the only city in California that fits the description, making it possible Vernon becomes part of unincorporated Los Angeles County, according to the report.

"The issue here is about the complete lack of transparency and accountability in Vernon," Perez told the paper. "We cannot tolerate a situation where a handful of individuals are able to use an entire city as their own personal fiefdom."

The town of about 95 residents has been controlled by a few families and their associates for decades.

In response to the bill, Vernon's current City Administrator Mark Whitworth issued a statement Friday, saying disincorporation would "cost thousands of people their jobs and the state hundreds of millions in tax revenues."