Compton Files Suit Against Firm Over Link to Tucker
Compton has filed a $10-million lawsuit against a rubbish collection company, claiming that Murcole Disposal’s contract with the city was void because former Mayor Walter R. Tucker III had a “financial interest” in the firm.
The suit filed in Superior Court draws upon testimony that Murcole officials delivered during Tucker’s trial last year on federal charges of bribery and tax evasion. Tucker, a former congressman, was convicted in December and is serving a 27-month prison sentence.
A federal jury deadlocked, however, on two extortion counts in which prosecutors alleged that Tucker accepted $7,500 from Murcole to assure his support on the City Council.
Murcole General Manager Mikael Aloyan testified that Tucker solicited bribes through the company’s public relations agent. Tucker, on the other hand, contended that it was Murcole who contacted him at least twice when the company’s long-term contract was before the council for renewal.
According to prosecutors, Tucker voted in 1991 to give Murcole a 5.9% rate increase within a month after the residential garbage collection firm donated $5,000 to Tucker’s campaign fund. Tucker denied that the donation affected his vote of support, noting that the rate increase had been recommended by city staff.