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South Bay Digest

Carson : 3-2 Vote Elects Calas Mayor

March 12, 1987

Only seconds after banker Michael I. Mitoma was seated as a council member, he cast the deciding vote to elect Councilwoman Kay Calas mayor, succeeding Sylvia Muise. Councilman Thomas Mills also had been nominated.

Muise and Mills had supported Aaron Carter in the March 3 race to fill the council seat vacated by Walter J. (Jake) Egan, who was forced off the council in October after being convicted of political corruption involving extortion and mail fraud.

Voting with Mitoma were Calas and Vera Robles DeWitt, who both supported Mitoma in the election. DeWitt was elected mayor pro tem by the same 3-2 split.

The mayor presides over council meetings, represents the city at official functions and nominates people to serve on boards and commissions. Council reorganizations normally take place after an election.

The council is now in an unusual situation in which one member, Mitoma, is suing two others, Muise and Mills. In the lawsuit, Mitoma accuses them, as well as Carter and several others, of defaming him and his bank in a leaflet from the 1986 council race that said that Mitoma and his bank were involved in laundering drug money. Mitoma denies the charge.

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