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Councilman Pleads Guilty, Prepares to Resign Post

September 14, 1986|DENISE-MARIE SANTIAGO | Times Staff Writer

ROSEMEAD — City Councilman Louis Tury Jr., who pleaded guilty last week to mail fraud and paying kickbacks to secure government contracts for his machine shop, said he will resign his post by Oct. 14, the date of his sentencing.

"I'm going to talk with my colleagues as to when's the best time, to give them some time to think about what they're going to do," said Tury, 47, who owns Tury Precision Machining.

Tury is one of 19 former defense industry purchasing agents and suppliers indicted in July on bribery and kickback charges involving subcontracts for some of the nation's most sensitive military projects, including the space shuttle, the B-1 bomber and the cruise missile system.

Kickbacks of $20,000

Tury was accused of paying $20,000 in kickbacks between 1980 and 1984 to Robert Floyd Herbert, vice president of Teledyne Camera Systems, to obtain subcontracts on camera system components for the Air Force B-52 bomber. Herbert earlier pleaded guilty and received a six-month prison sentence.

Tury has been on the City Council since 1978 and served as mayor three times. He was reelected in April to a four-year term. Under state law, convicted felons cannot hold public office and are required to leave office upon sentencing.

Until he pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Tury said he "thought I might be able to hang on. It just got to the end where the physical and mental drain was too much. You have to know when you're beaten."

"There comes a time when you have to accept responsibility for your actions and my life will go on from there," said Tury, who faces a sentence of up to two years in prison and/or an $11,000 fine.

Appointment Time Limit

According to state law, once Tury officially resigns, the City Council has 30 days to appoint someone else to the seat. If no one is appointed, the city must hold a special election to fill the position and the winner will complete Tury's term, which ends in April, 1990, City Clerk Ellen Poochigian said.

The special election, which would be held next March, would cost the city about $20,000, she said.

Council members want to meet with Tury soon, according to Councilman Pat Cleveland. "I'm quite sure there's going to be a demand for an election. There are some councilmen who don't believe in appointment," said Cleveland, adding that he believes that the voters also will want an election.

Tury, who has also served on the city's traffic and planning commissions, said he will no longer be involved in city government.

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