The city and city clerk have been included as defendants in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the election of City Councilman Ervin (Tony) Thomas.
Garland Hardeman, a Los Angeles policeman, filed the suit against Thomas after losing the June runoff election by 16 votes. The suit charges that Thomas violated numerous election laws in an absentee voter drive that gave Thomas the victory. Thomas has denied the allegations.
Mark Bornstein, Hardeman's attorney, and City Atty. Howard Rosten agreed this week that the city and City Clerk Hermanita Harris should be named as defendants because the suit challenges the city's supervision of the election. Bornstein filed a motion last week for a postponement of the trial, which was to start Friday, and a judge today is expected to set a new trial date in early October.
The suit includes allegations that Thomas and his allies coerced and intimidated voters, forged signatures on ballots and illegally turned in absentee votes for others. Bornstein said he will take depositions in coming weeks from Thomas, Harris and other witnesses, including Mayor Edward Vincent, a Thomas ally.