HUNTINGTON PARK (CBSLA.com) — The city of Huntington Park and its contracted attorney have cut ties amid accusations that municipal officials mismanaged city funds.
City Attorney Francisco Leal, of the Law Firm of Leal & Trejo, gave his immediate resignation to city officials Tuesday, ending their nine-year relationship, City Manager Rene Bobadilla said.
“At this time, we feel the legal needs of our city have evolved significantly and it was best for us to consider other options and resources to best meet these needs,” Bobadilla told the Los Cerritos News.
Leal’s resignation comes just one day after Monday’s City Council meeting where Huntington Park residents served recall papers to the mayor and council.
The group says the Council mismanaged Huntington Park into a $9 million deficit and paid Leal a reported $500,000 salary for serving as an outside consultant for the 60,000-person city.
“My salary is not $700,000, it’s not $600,000, it’s not $500,000. Its $37,500 a month and it’s not my salary. It’s the amount of money that the firm earns for legal services here,” Leal said Monday.
Bobadilla says allegations of a $9 deficit are untrue.
“Last I heard, what they are working with, is a $4 million deficit,” he said.
The city will post the search for new legal counsel on their website, officials said.
Recall supporters are now in the process of collecting signatures from 3,100 residents before the issue can actually be put on a ballot.