RELEASE: Senator De León Calls for Audit of Vernon’s Power Utility

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Letter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee Seeks Emergency Meeting

(Sacramento, CA) – Seeking transparency around a recent IRS announcement that it was investigating a bond deal by the City of Vernon’s municipal utility, Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) today sent a letter to the Legislature’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee requesting that it hold an emergency meeting next week to consider the request.

According to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, “The Internal Revenue Service is auditing more than $400 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by the city of Vernon in 2009.” Further, the Times article noted, “Attorneys and experts interviewed by The Times said the IRS audit could be costly for Vernon. They said the probe probably focuses on whether the city's use of bond proceeds violated restrictions on tax-exempt debt. If the bonds are deemed taxable, the government could demand millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.”

“The city of Vernon’s finances have been called into question and the public is entitled to a thorough and transparent review of those finances. The public is also entitled to more knowledge about the management and compensation of the city’s utility,” said Senator De León. “The era of self-dealing in Vernon is over and this audit will help ensure that happens.”

The JLAC does not have a scheduled meeting until February, 2012, so Senator De León has asked that an emergency meeting be held before the current Legislative session ends on September 9, 2011.