Embattled Vernon Councilman Resigns

By EGP News Service

The grandson of Vernon’s founder issued his resignation from city council Monday after 53 years as a public official in a move that caught some staffers “off-guard.”

Vernon Councilman Leonis Malburg announced his retirement, effective July 1, at the regular council meeting held this week.

“It is with great regret that I am submitting this resignation after many fruitful years as Council Member, Mayor Pro Tem and Mayor,” he wrote in his official resignation letter to the city.

Malburg, who says the industry-focused Vernon saw “tremendous growth” and “visibility in the domestic and international markets” during his tenure, declined to comment beyond his letter.

Malburg was mayor of the city for more than three decades before council voted in late April to appoint another veteran public official Hilario “Larry” Gonzales as mayor.

Malburg’s resignation follows news in May that the city of Vernon is suing him. The lawsuit claims Malburg owes nearly $1.5 million in attorney fees that was mistakenly charged to the city.

Between November 2006 and January 2008, the city paid legal fees that went toward defending Malburg against District Attorney charges that he committed election-fraud by voting and taking public office while living outside of the city of Vernon, the suit says.

City Attorney Jeff Harrison says the city has the option of holding a special election or appointing someone to fill Malburg’s seat when he leaves next month.

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June 9, 2009  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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