VERNON (AP) — A former Vernon official who pleaded guilty to corruption has received half-million-dollar payout from the city.

The Los Angeles Times says the tiny industrial suburb didn’t challenge Donal O’Callaghan’s claim that he was owed money under his contract even though it contained provisions allowing him to be fired for misconduct.

Attorney David Schindler, who represents Vernon, says the payment this week avoids a court fight the city might have lost.

O’Callaghan’s lawyer, Mark Werksman, says the settlement was lawful and appropriate.

O’Callaghan earned as much as $785,000 a year during his five years as Vernon’s top administrator. Last month, he was sentenced to probation and community service after pleading guilty to a conflict-of-interest charge for arranging a city contract for his wife, Kimberly McBride.

The city of Vernon, which is home to less than 100 residents, has been plagued by scandal and corruption and is at the center of a disincorporation effort by state Assembly Speaker John Perez.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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