Freedom of Information Is Supreme

Westminster

The dates at the beginning of the listings are approximate. Access to the links may be restricted. Go here for a list of all names in this site.

1959–61: City Manager James E. Black, Mayor George Meinhardt, Vice Mayor Arthur Paysen and Council Members Gerald Allison, Gordon Dorsfmith and Eugene J. (Barney) Edwards, accused of accepting a $24,000 bribe for dropping a 1959 move to annex a portion of the Eastgate area. Edwards and Dorfsmith pleaded guilty, and Allison, Paysen and Black were convicted after trial: They were sent to state prison, and Dorfman and Edwards to county jail. Superior Judge Ronald Crookshank said the charges were “equal to murder, kidnaping or rape, as far as I’m concerned.”

Meinhardt was convicted, was granted a new trial and was eventually cleared by a lie-detector test; all charges against him were dropped.

“DA Pushes Probe of Bribe-Taking in County,”  Los Angeles Times, June 25, 1961, page OC-3

“Bribery Case Developments Keep Westminster in Turmoil,” Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1961, page D-1

“Bribe Case Sentencing Due Friday,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 1962, page D-1

“Former Westminster Officials Sentenced,” Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1962, page 9

“Lie Test Clears Former Mayor of Westminster,” Los Angeles Times, September 5, 1972, page 27

1972–73: Mayor Derek McWhinney and Planning Commissioner Tad Fujita, convicted in the case of a farmer who testified that the two officials told him the only way he could renew his lease on his acreage in city-owned Mile Square Park was to pay $5,000 and contribute another $5,000 to a county supervisor’s election campaign. McWhinney was sentenced to state prison, and Fujita got three years’ probation and a stint in the county jail.

Andy Rose, “Down On Its Luck,” Los Angeles Times, October 19, 1986, page OC-A-1 

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