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Cudahy council votes to fire 2 city officials

March 29, 2011 12:19:10 AM PDT
The Cudahy City Council voted to fire two prominent city officials, including the city manager. The mayor told Eyewitness News what's behind the upheaval.

Cudahy Mayor Josue Barrios said the decision to let the officials go had nothing to do with a scandal or any illegal activity.

City Manager George Perez and City Attorney David Olivas were both fired Monday night after the city council voted unanimously to get rid of them. Perez has run the town for more than a decade, and the city attorney has also worked for Cudahy for years.

The mayor said after listening to concerns from residents about the direction the city is going in, the council felt it necessary to clean house.

"They are concerned with progress, they are concerned with movement, activity, economic development, these kinds of issues," Barrios said.

City Clerk Larry Galvan and Human Resources Director Crystal Hernandez were both put on administrative leave.

The mayor stressed that there was no scandal, and that it was simply a personnel change, but it comes in a peculiar time when a number of small communities in southeast Los Angeles having been making headlines for scandals, the most notorious being the Bell salary scandal that is still unfolding in the courts.

"We just feel at this point we need to lead the city in a different direction," Barrios said. "So far, the residents have applauded us. They're very happy with this decision, and we look forward to continuing to serve our people."

The former city attorney told the L.A. Times that it was an honor to work for the city.

Perez will be paid 18 months' salary after his termination, per his contract, which states he will be paid that amount as long as he wasn't terminated for illegal activity.


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