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|Breaking News: Huntington Park Salaries
$630,000 to City Attorney Francisco Leal in
The Editor, WatchOurCity.com,
August 11, 2010
Huntington Park, CA - The city clerk in Huntington Park confirmed this morning
that city attorney Francisco Leal has been paid a total of $630,007 from July
2009 to May 2010.
That's more than double what L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich earns, a
base salary of $214,000. And Mr. Trutanich manages more than 1000 attorneys
The city attorney in Bell Gardens billed in the same period a total of $396,504.
Robert Wadden, Manhattan Beach's city attorney, is paid a base salary plus
other compensation totaling $280,425.
Francisco Leal was hired in closed door session back in December of 2003 by
the newly elected city council slate led by the current mayor John Noguez.
Watchourcity.com reported back in 2004 that Francisco Leal was given a
contract worth $300,000 per year merely months after Leal donated over
$3,500 to John Noguez's city council campaign.
Leal's contract originally stipulated a not-to-exceed billing amount of $25,000
per month. The contract stipulated that this amount could be overrided with city
council approval. Currently, Leal's monthly retainer is at $37,500.
Mayor John Noguez is currently in a November runoff race for L.A. County
Assessor seat against John Wong from Commerce.
Under Noguez's leadership, Huntington Park's property taxes and utility taxes
for such things as trash, cell phone, etc., have risen dramatically since his
election in 2004. According a Times report, the city has the 6th highest property
taxes in the L.A. County Area.
Francisco Leal's city attorney contract was not the only one given outright to a
John Noguez campaign donor.
Campaign finance reports on file with the city clerk's office show that George
Cole, then Bell's mayor, the author of Bell's current tax and salary fiasco,
donated over $3,500 to Noguez 2003 campaign. In return, Noguez rewarded
Cole with a cool $3.9 million contract to provide bus transportation services in
Huntington Park. Bell's George Cole and Mayor Noguez also shared campaign
managers and fundraising consultants. Conrado Terrazas worked for the
Oldtimers Foundation, where Cole is Director, and was both Noguez's and
Cole's campaign treasurer. Both Cole and Noguez also hired a campaign
manager, Mario Beltran, the twice convicted felon and former councilman from
Bell Gardens, which was written on extensively by investigative reporter Jeffrey
Anderson in L.A. Weekly reports.
Francisco Leal was the city attorney in Maywood before Bell took the reigns over
there and replaced Leal with Ed Lee, of Best, Best and Krieger.