Last month, former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley was found guilty of two counts of misappropriating public funds. This is the second time a jury has found Bradley guilty of using taxpayer money for personal purposes after his first conviction, in 2004, was thrown out by a state appellate court panel in 2012. The prosecution alleged that between 1999 and 2001, Bradley used a city-issued credit card for personal items and “double dipped” by taking cash advances for city business expenses and then charging the items to his city credit card, all of which he denies. A sentencing hearing will occur today, August 30, and his conviction means he can’t seek public office again.
Bradley is a former schoolteacher and football coach and some of the same qualities that made him popular, including his brash talk, also made him controversial. Throughout the 1990s, Bradley came to be known as the “gangster mayor” due to him touting his relationships with people such as the late Eazy-E of N.W.A. and rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight. However, under Bradley, Compton built new housing and decreased a municipal workforce that had become swollen. He also received credit during his tenure as mayor for keeping the streets clean and for disbanding a Compton police force that many residents had come to distrust. Bradley’s conviction marks the latest chapter in a high-profile corruption case that has spanned more than a decade.
Update: Bradley has been sentenced to three years probation and a year in county jail that he has already served.