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City Hall Journal

COMPTON : Federal Money Makes Friends of Old Rivals

January 13, 1994

How does one get two bitter political rivals to share a stage and shake hands?

Put a check for more than $500,000 between them.

At least that's what brought Mayor Omar Bradley and Rep. Walter R. Tucker III (D-Compton) together in the City Council chambers recently. Tucker, the former mayor, brought a check for $563,526 from Washington. The check represented a portion of money due to Compton in asset forfeiture funds from a 1990 drug bust.

The Compton Police Department was the lead agency in breaking up the drug ring and officials seized about $4 million in cash and $8 million in property, police Chief Hourie Taylor said. He said about half of the seized assets should have been sent to Compton but that for more than three years the funds have been locked up in federal bureaucracy.

About two months ago, Taylor solicited the help of Tucker. On Christmas Eve, Taylor was told that part of the money had been released. To show its appreciation, the City Council had a plaque made to thank Tucker.

Relations between Tucker and Bradley have been chilly ever since Bradley accused Tucker of exploiting the 1992 Los Angeles riots to further his political career, and then publicly withdrew his endorsement of Tucker for the congressional race. But it was Bradley who presented the plaque for "outstanding community service" and shook Tucker's hand.

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