Two Mayors, an Ancient Feud, and Public Corruption Charges: How the Rivalry Between Lancaster and Palmdale Could Lead to One Mayor’s Downfall
The Los Angeles Times has some fascinating backstory on the longstanding rivalry between Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, and the role it played in the public corruption charges recently filed against Ledford by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
You might recall that Parris was the first to provide insight into what may have prompted the raid on Ledford’s home and offices back in May. Little was known about the raid at the time, but Parris told media outlets he thought it had something to do with statements Ledford made during a deposition in a voting rights lawsuit, in which Parris -- an attorney -- represented the plaintiff.
He was right. According to prosecutors, Ledford received $500,000 in illegal payments from a couple of local consultants over a period of eight years and then failed to disclose the money as required. The alleged ruse was revealed during Parris’ questioning of Ledford in that voting case.
As the Times notes, the situation “has heightened the already well-known feud between Palmdale and Lancaster, the two biggest cities in the fast-growing high desert region at the northern edge of Los Angeles County.”
Former Palmdale city manager David Childs likens it to a Hatfields vs. McCoys situation that can be traced all the way back to 1962 when the Palmdale first broke away from Lancaster and became its own city.
Read more about the feud and its implications here.