Former Compton mayor, newcomer head to runoff; results finalized

Compton Mayor Eric Perrodin tries to keep his composure as the City Council grapples with the budget four hours into a 2011 meeting. Perrodin was ousted in the city's municipal election after 12 years in office.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Final results from Compton’s primary election released Thursday showed longtime Mayor Eric Perrodin ousted and political newcomer Aja Brown and former Mayor Omar Bradley headed for a runoff.

Incumbent Perrodin, who is the city’s longest-serving mayor, trailed in third place. A deputy district attorney and former Compton police officer, Perrodin ran on a reform platform in the 2001 election in which he defeated Bradley.

He got praise for bringing new businesses, including Starbucks and Home Depot, to the city, but came under fire over city contracts that went to friends and family members, absenteeism at meetings, and most recently, for the city’s $40-million budget deficit.


Bradley was convicted in 2004 of misappropriating public funds. An appeals court overturned the conviction last year, but the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office plans to retry the case.

A hearing was set for Wednesday but postponed until June 18 to await the results of the runoff.

“By then we hope Mr. Bradley will have fully resolved the question of the will of the voters,” said Max Huntsman, assistant head deputy in the district attorney’s public integrity division. At that point, if there is no plea agreement, the case will proceed to trial.

The final election results showed no significant change from the preliminary results released last week.

Brown, a 31-year-old urban planner who picked up support from labor unions, Perrodin’s opponents on the City Council and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, led the final count with 1,887 votes, followed by Bradley with 1,796. Perrodin was in third place with 1,663 votes.

The other nine candidates who ran, including former child star Rodney Allen Rippy, trailed far behind.


The results also showed 60.8% of voters approving a measure that would force the city to keep its contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department unless voters approve a change. Many residents were unhappy with a push by Perrodin to bring back the Compton Police Department, which was disbanded by Bradley.

Perrodin indicated at Tuesday’s council meeting that the city might fight implementation of the measure in court. Former City Clerk and mayoral candidate Charles Davis, the measure’s main proponent, got a court order to force the city to put the measure on the ballot in the first place.

“It takes away the policy making process for the council to select vendors,” Perrodin said. “Whether you are paying $10 for a vendor or $20 million dollars for a vendor, it’s a vendor and this is unprecedented. We will be the only city of all the contract cities that has this particular law and we feel very confident that the judge will rule in our favor.”

City Atty. Craig Cornwell said the city has not yet taken legal action to halt the measure.


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