The public documents obtained by the paper through the California Public Records Act revealed that Eric T. Fresch was paid nearly $1.65 million in salary and hourly billing in 2008 in dual roles as city administrator and deputy city attorney.
Fresch was paid near $1.2 million last year and $643,000 through July 31 this year.
As was the case in Bell, it was more than just one enormously paid salary. Donal O’Callaghan was paid nearly $785,000 last year as city administrator and director of light and power, Vernon’s city-owned utility. He stepped down on July 20 as city administrator.
The Times also reported that records show Former City Atty. Jeffrey A. Harrison earned $800,000 last year and City Treasurer/Finance Director Roirdan Burnett made $570,000
Vernon has less than 100 residents as a business and industrial city.
More from the Times:
Fresch told The Times on Thursday that he has performed complex legal services for Vernon, mostly related to its energy businesses. He said he gradually accepted more and more work from the city since he first started working for it in 1986.
Once he joined the city staff, Fresch said, his services cost Vernon less than what his private-practice “peer group” would have billed for similar work. He said Vernon saved money through the arrangement. Fresch now serves as “special counsel” to the city, at $525 an hour.
“If people think that I am a city guy making that kind of money, they would have every right to be outraged,” he said.
“I’m not trying to say that municipal compensation should be at the level that I’m doing. I’m saying that if you bring a guy like me in, and do transactions for several hundred million dollars, this would not be out-of-line compensation.”
Read more from the Times breaking report here.