[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
68°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 15
1891 - R.E. Nickel publishes area's first newspaper, The Acton Rooster [story]
Acton Rooster


Photo: Ledford for Mayor

Five new counts have been added to a criminal complaint alleging that Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford conspired with two consultants to receive more than $60,000 a year from a nonprofit and not disclose the income on economic statements, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Ledford, 64, and co-defendants Kimberly Anne Shaw, 62, and Susan Burgess Miller, 69, appeared in court Wednesday but their arraignment was postponed until March 28.

Ledford is charged in a second amended felony complaint with one count each of conspiracy and conflict of interest, and three counts of perjury. He also faces one misdemeanor count of using an official position for personal gain.

Shaw also was charged with conspiracy, as well as one count of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, and four counts of filing a false tax return. Miller faces one count each of conspiracy, embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds.

The defendants used various shell companies to pay Ledford about $5,200 a month between 2009 and 2017, according to the complaint.

Shaw had been a consultant for the city of Palmdale for the past 20 years, and with Miller’s assistance, ran the AERO Institute, which received more than $2 million annually from NASA.

Miller operated a company known as Complex Culture Change Consulting and hired Ledford in 2009. Over a four-year period, AERO Institute paid the consulting firm more than $13,000 every month and the consulting firm, in turn, allegedly paid Ledford $5,200 per month.

Prosecutors allege Ledford did not perform any substantive work for AERO Institute during that time frame. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Ledford is accused of not reporting the income he received from AERO Institute on economic disclosure statements.

Shaw is accused of claiming on her tax forms on behalf of AERO Institute that the nonprofit organization had a board of directors which held meetings and kept minutes and agendas. However, several people listed on the tax forms as board members were unaware they were board members, never served on the board and never attended any board meetings, prosecutors said.

Shaw also allegedly repeatedly failed to disclose in the AERO Institute tax forms that she received more than $150,000 annually from AERO in consulting fees, prosecutors added.

The Palmdale City Council voted to boost Shaw’s consultant contract in 2012 to an amount not to exceed $3.9 million over seven years. Ledford allegedly failed to reveal at the time that he was indirectly receiving income from AERO Institute, a nonprofit organization that had $1 annual lease of Palmdale public property.

If convicted as charged, Ledford faces a possible maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison, while Shaw and Miller face up to four years in prison.

Deputy District Attorneys Russell Moore and Stefan Mrakich of the Public Integrity Division are prosecuting the case.

Case BA458328 remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

3 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    The Aero Institute has a web site decorated with a lot of flowery writing that basically tells you nothing. A Google search for Complex Culture Change Consulting suggests it is an even more shady outfit. Long prison terms for those involved will discourage similar crimes in the future.

  2. SCVTeam says:

    Not surprised another republican scammer, just like the 7th grader with a toupe in the white house.

  3. Ken Laundy says:

    Don’t understand what being a Republican or even a Democrat has to do with this issue ? Think what needs to be addressed here is, the law pertains to everybody ! Embesselment, not declaring income is a— crime! How did this go without mentioning since 2009 ? The city is a dump, so is the Mayor’s Office ! The honest taxpayers always get the shaft !

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
Autopsy Confirms ‘Glee’ Star, Valencia Native Naya Rivera Accidentally Drowned
Valencia native and “Glee” actress Naya Rivera died by drowning in Lake Piru as a result of an accident, according to an autopsy released Tuesday by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: 140,307 Cases Countywide, 3,713 Cases in SCV
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirms Tuesday the highest number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reported in a day with 4,244 new cases and 2,103 people currently hospitalized.
Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
California Updates COVID-19 Testing Guidance, Health Plan Requirements
SACRAMENTO – California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday new plans for COVID-19 testing in California, including updated testing guidance, new requirements for health plans to cover testing, and the new co-chairs of the state's COVID-19 Testing Task Force.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1891 - R.E. Nickel publishes area's first newspaper, The Acton Rooster [story]
Acton Rooster
SCV Water's Public Outreach and Legislation Committee is scheduled to meet via teleconference on Thursday, July 16, at 5:30 p.m.
July 16: SCV Water Public Outreach & Legislation Committee Teleconference Meeting
Valencia native and “Glee” actress Naya Rivera died by drowning in Lake Piru as a result of an accident, according to an autopsy released Tuesday by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Autopsy Confirms ‘Glee’ Star, Valencia Native Naya Rivera Accidentally Drowned
The city of Santa Clarita is pleased to announce the availability of COVID-19 Response Grants to local nonprofit organizations through federal funding recently issued as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
City Announces Available COVID-19 Nonprofit Grants
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirms Tuesday the highest number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reported in a day with 4,244 new cases and 2,103 people currently hospitalized.
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: 140,307 Cases Countywide, 3,713 Cases in SCV
SACRAMENTO – California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday new plans for COVID-19 testing in California, including updated testing guidance, new requirements for health plans to cover testing, and the new co-chairs of the state's COVID-19 Testing Task Force.
California Updates COVID-19 Testing Guidance, Health Plan Requirements
Hundreds lined up Monday on a Canyon Country sidewalk to buy fresh fruit in support of two friends’ fruit business, a day after a local couple was recorded on video telling the street vendors to leave.
Hundreds Line Up in Canyon Country to Support Fruit Vendor
Summer traditionally means camp for many kids. But this year — with the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations to stay indoors and limit contact with others as much as possible — many traditional summer camps are closed, and many families are scrambling to find alternatives to keep their children entertained and busy while school is out.
CSUN’s Sunny Days Virtual Camp Offers Alternative to Traditional Summer Camps
College of the Canyons goalkeeper Kian Bensend will continue his collegiate career in the Santa Clarita Valley, after signing on for a spot between the posts at nearby The Master's University over the weekend. 
COC Goalkeeper Kian Bensend Staying Local, Signs with TMU
Many of Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA) fundraising events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, SCAA has found a creative way to raise funds while practicing Safer at Home orders.
SCAA’s ‘Art is Essential’ Shirt Fundraiser Underway
The Santa Clarita Public Library, joined by the Historical Novel Society, is thrilled to host the final event in the History Talks series titled “California History Galore.”
Santa Clarita Public Library to Host Final History Talks Series
The regular meeting of the William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board will take place virtually, Wednesday, July 15 at 7:00 p.m.
July 15: Hart District Regular Virtual Meeting
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase and some businesses are once again asked to close, Los Angeles County officials continue to prepare for the start of a new school year this fall, which they say will look much different.
Public Health Officials, SCV Educators Discuss K-12 Roadmap for Reopening
Smoke was showing from a possible building fire at the Vallarta supermarket in Newhall on Tuesday, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
Firefighters Respond to Excess Smoke From Faulty AC Unit at Vallarta
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is providing an automatic one-year extension to Californians age 70 and older with a noncommercial driver license with an expiration date between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
DMV Automatically Provides 1-Year Extension to Seniors with Expiring Licenses
1769 - Portolá party sets out from San Diego; first Europeans to "discover" Santa Clarita Valley 3½ weeks later [story]
Gaspar de Portola
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 2,593 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 new deaths due to the virus countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 15th death, bringing the SCV's total to 38 fatalities.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 38th SCV Death as State, County Roll Back Re-Openings
Los Angeles County changed scheduling platforms for COVID-19 testing at nine county-operated testing sites on Monday.
L.A. County Moves to New COVID-19 Test Scheduling Platform
As COVID-19 continues to surge in California, Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday called for a statewide rollback of reopenings, including a halt to dine-in service at restaurants, and closures of churches and hair salons in 30 hard-hit counties including Los Angeles and Ventura.
California Rolls Back Re-Openings, Closes Many Indoor Operations
While three Santa Clarita Valley school districts have decided to record and publish videos of their governing board meetings, the Saugus Union School District and Newhall School District have held off on making a similar decision.
Most SCV School Boards Publish Meetings Online; Newhall, Saugus Hold Off
As national retail stores once again temporarily close amid the latest COVID-19 spike, other businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley are struggling to avoid closing their doors permanently.
SCV Businesses Struggle to Stay Afloat Through COVID-19 Pandemic
With film and TV production still ramping back up after the spring shutdown, the city of Santa Clarita's Film Office has reported one still photo shoot this week in the Santa Clarita Valley, aka "Hollywood North."
Filming in SCV This Week: Airbnb Still Photo Shoot
The body found at Lake Piru was identified as Valencia native and “Glee” actress Naya Rivera, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office: Body Found at Lake Piru Confirmed to be Naya Rivera
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has extended its current air quality advisory for the Santa Clarita Valley, warning of unhealthy air on Tuesday for sensitive individuals and groups.
SCV Unhealthy Air Quality Advisory Extended to Tuesday
%d bloggers like this: