Compton’s city manager has fired an aide to new City Councilman Isaac Galvan who had past convictions for political misconduct.
City Manager Harold Duffey confirmed Friday that he had fired Angel Gonzalez, who was hired as Galvan’s council liaison on July 3. Gonzalez was fired Thursday, he said.
The move came three days after The Times ran a story on Galvan that included information about Gonzalez’s criminal history.
Gonzalez is a printer and political consultant known in Southeast L.A. for his past work for former South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles, who is serving time in federal prison for his part in a wide-ranging bribery scheme.
In 2002 Gonzalez was convicted of a felony conspiracy charge — reduced to a misdemeanor at his sentencing — for sending out attack mailers with copies of fake official documents. In a separate case, he was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of sending out misleading campaign fliers.
Galvan worked for Gonzalez’s print shop in West Adams, and Gonzalez served as his campaign manager when he ran for Compton’s City Council.
Galvan won a historic victory as the first Latino elected to public office in Compton in June, but some voiced misgivings about his political connections and his failure to disclose his campaign finances.
Duffey said Gonzalez was an at-will employee of the city who reported to the city manager although he worked as Galvan’s aide.
He declined to comment on the reason for terminating Gonzalez, but said he had spoken to Galvan about the decision.
“He wasn’t happy, but he understood,” Duffey said.
Reached by phone, Galvan said he needed time to “gather my thoughts.” Gonzalez could not be immediately reached.
[Updated at 3:06 p.m.: In an emailed statement, Gonzalez said: “The City Manager Harold Duffey, in concert with some Council Members are retaliating against Councilman Galvan by firing me. This is an attempt to silence questions that Councilman Galvan and I have raised regarding the handling and disposition of public funds.”
He pointed to Galvan’s request at a recent council meeting to put the city’s lobbying contract out to bid, and his opposition to a proposal to amend the city manager’s contract to give him 12 rather than six months of severance pay if he is fired].
In a previous interview, Gonzalez said prosecutors had targeted him because they wanted to “squeeze” him for information about Robles, and he took a plea bargain after he ran out of money.
“If I was guilty, then I was guilty by association,” he said.