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Vernon sues ex-mayor for nearly $1.5M

May 29, 2009 12:48:09 PM PDT
The city of Vernon is suing its former mayor for almost $1.5 million in legal fees that he ran up defending himself and his wife on election-fraud charges.Leonis Malburg, 80, and his wife Dominica, 83, are awaiting trial on charges that they voted in Vernon even though they lived in Los Angeles.

The new lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges Malburg instructed his attorneys at the firm of Loeb & Loeb to bill the city for his legal fees, without telling the Vernon City Council.

The bills ran from November 2006 until January 2008.

City council members only found out about the bills one month after they stopped arriving.

"In approving payment of these invoices, the City Council was unaware that the bills submitted by and payments made to Loeb & Loeb were for Mr. Malburg's defense of the pending voter fraud criminal charges," the lawsuit alleges.

Malburg served as the mayor of Vernon for 35 years, beginning in 1974 until last month, and is now a member of the City Council.

CNS contributed to this report.

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