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Councilman, Long Under Fire, Quits in Cudahy

February 01, 1990|TINA GRIEGO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CUDAHY — Councilman Tom Thurman, who was repeatedly berated by fellow council members for being "weak," unexpectedly resigned Tuesday, less than three months before his term was to have expired.

Thurman, 35, who was elected in April, 1986, submitted a handwritten letter of resignation to City Manager Jack Joseph. Thurman said he was resigning, effective Friday, for personal and family reasons.

In an interview Wednesday, Thurman, who works as a lab attendant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said he may be hired as a part-time cashier, which would interfere with his duties as a councilman. He also said that he wished to spend more time with his family.

Though Thurman cited the job opportunity as the main reason he decided to retire early, he also said he was tired of the bickering among council members.

For much of his term, Thurman has been caught in the middle of debates between Councilmen John Robertson, Bill Colon, Joseph Fregeau and Joseph Graffio. All have criticized Thurman, saying he lacked leadership ability. Last September, a majority of the council members voted to remove Thurman as mayor, halfway through his one-year term.

"After a while I got tired of putting up with that baloney from month to month," Thurman said. "Even just being a cashier would be far less stressful than being a city councilman." Joseph said Thurman's seat would remain vacant until the April election.

Robertson and Fregeau expressed surprise at Thurman's resignation. "I would have thought he would have finished out his term," Robertson said. "I think there are a lot of important issues facing the council now and he was elected to give direction."

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