Palmdale mayor's office, home raided; Lancaster mayor says its over money

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The office of Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, who has been there for 25 years, was raided by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Wednesday. (KABC)

The office of Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, who has been there for 25 years, was raided by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Wednesday.

"The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office did a search of the mayor's office yesterday and the city fully cooperated with them," said Jim Mylnar, with the city.

Investigators from the district attorney's office also searched Ledford's home, as well as four other undisclosed locations. The office isn't saying why it conducted the raids.

But Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said it's most likely related to money Ledford collected from an Antelope Valley consultant. Those payments came to light when Parris, who is also an attorney, deposed Ledford in a 2013 lawsuit.

"I was asking him specifically what he did, it slowly unraveled that he was just getting $60,000 a year to do nothing," Parris said.

Parris points to a Palmdale school as an example of possible impropriety by Ledford. The Guidance Charter School is building a new facility. Parris said Ledford and the city council helped the school pay for the project.

"The city guaranteed a $20 million loan for them. That's unheard of, you don't do that," Parris said.

But school officials blasted Parris's allegations, saying the construction funds came entirely from a California state development authority bond.

"The city of Palmdale did not give us any money for the bond. They basically just helped us and processed and facilitated obtaining the bond," said Kamal Al-Khatib, founder of the school.

In the meantime, the search of the mayor's home and office has been shrouded in silence. Ledford has not responded to requests for comment. The district attorney's office also declined to comment on the investigation.

Related Topics:
raidmoneyhomePalmdaleLancasterLos Angeles County
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