Palmdale Mayor, Consultants Charged with Corruption

Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford was charged Wednesday with concealing hundreds of thousands of dollars he allegedly received from entities tied to a consulting firm -- that won a multi-million-dollar city contract.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Ledford, 63, received about $5,200 a month over a seven year period that was routed through "shell companies." 

The payments totaled nearly $500,000.

The criminal complaint charged Ledford with conspiracy, conflict of interest, and perjury - the perjury counts for allegedly filing statements of economic interest that failed to disclose the payments.

Ledford appeared briefly in L.A. Superior Court Wednesday afternoon but postponed entering pleas to the charges. Bail was set at $75,000.

"At this point no evidence has been presented," Ledford's attorney Anthony Falangetti told reporters outside court. "All we have is accusations [sic] and those accusations have been filed in court, that's all we know."

The complaint also charged two women accused of being co-conspirators in the scheme, Kimberly A. Shaw of Yorba Linda and Susan B. Miller of Las Vegas. They face allegations of conspiracy, embezzlement, and misappropriation of public funds.  

D.A.'s office investigators raided Ledford's home and office earlier this year, prompting calls from other city officials that he should temporarily step down from office.

Ledford was re-elected last November to his 13th term as Palmdale mayor. 

He's been ordered to return to court July 26.

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