header image

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

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 23
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall estate and his (now West) Hollywood home to the public [story]
Hart dies


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
Friday, Jun 21, 2024
Supes Urge Newsom Not to Cut L.A. County Inmate Firefighting Crews
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath have sent an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to continue funding the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations hand crews who currently help the Los Angeles County Fire Department tackle wildland fires.
Friday, Jun 21, 2024
Santa Clarita Now Accepting Project Proposals for Make A Difference Day
The city of Santa Clarita invites local schools and nonprofits to submit a proposal outlining a project that can benefit from volunteer support as part of Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Friday, Jun 21, 2024
June 25: City Council Meets on Open Space, Budget, Town Center Specific Plan
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. that includes a host of issues including assessments, taxes, fees and budgets in addition to continued hearings on the Town Center Specific Plan.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall estate and his (now West) Hollywood home to the public [story]
Hart dies
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
Vasquez Rocks
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath have sent an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to continue funding the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations hand crews who currently help the Los Angeles County Fire Department tackle wildland fires.
Supes Urge Newsom Not to Cut L.A. County Inmate Firefighting Crews
Give the gift of life, an upcoming blood drive is scheduled for Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. The blood drive will be held in Cedar Hall.
June 28: City Hosts Blood Drive at The Centre
The city of Santa Clarita invites local schools and nonprofits to submit a proposal outlining a project that can benefit from volunteer support as part of Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Santa Clarita Now Accepting Project Proposals for Make A Difference Day
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. that includes a host of issues including assessments, taxes, fees and budgets in addition to continued hearings on the Town Center Specific Plan.
June 25: City Council Meets on Open Space, Budget, Town Center Specific Plan
Part of the Summer Theatre Festival by Santa Clarita Shakespeare, "An Evening of Absurdity" will run July 12-21 at the MAIN, 24266 Main Street., Newhall, CA 91321.
The MAIN Presents ‘An Evening of Absurdity’
The city of Santa Clarita has issued a traffic advisory for daytime lane closures at Copper Hill and Rio Norte Drive beginning Monday, June 24.
June 24: Traffic Advisory Lane Closures Copper Hill/Rio Norte Drive
Santa Clarita will celebrate this year's Fourth of July with the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club's pancake breakfast, Santa Clarita Valley Parade Committee's Fourth of July Parade and city of Santa Clarita fireworks show.
Fourth of July Events in Santa Clarita
The California Department of Public Health is warning consumers not to eat, sell or serve any flavor of Diamond Shruumz brand chocolate bars, cones and gummies, which contain a proprietary mushroom blend. These products, known as microdose products, have led to multiple illnesses and hospitalizations in 16 states, including at least one poisoning in California.
California Public Health Warns Consumers About Diamond Shruumz Products
The Cube – Ice and Entertainment Center, Powered by FivePoint Valencia, will hold the inaugural Girls and Women’s Three-on-Three Hockey Tournament on Saturday, June 22.
June 22: The Cube Hosts Inaugural Girls, Women’s Hockey Tourney
Join Santa Clarita's oldest and largest running event, the 40th annual Independence Day Classic, Thursday July 4, from 7 a.m.- 10 a.m. at Newhall Memorial Park, 24933 Newhall Ave., Newhall, CA 91321.
July 4: Independence Day Classic
A special meeting of the William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board will be held Wednesday, June 26, beginning at 8 a.m.
June 26: Hart District Governing Board Special Meeting
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 61% contained. This latest CAL FIRE update was issued at 7:44 a.m. on Friday, June 21.
Post Fire 61 Percent Contained, Pyramid Lake Remains Closed
For die-hard "The Love Boat" fans, the ultimate cruise experience just dropped anchor. Princess Cruises, which is headquartered in Santa Clarita, has announced an exclusive VIP package for its Love Boat themed cruise Aug. 32-Sept. 7 that promises intimate, up-close interactions with the show's beloved characters: Doc, Gopher, Isaac and Vicki Stubing.
Princess Cruises Offers ‘The Love Boat’ Celebration Cruise
The Valley Industry Association will host VIA Cocktails & Conversation: An Evening with CA State Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo on Wednesday, July 10.
July 10: Cocktails & Conversation with Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody) [story]
Ernie Hickson
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 24% contained. This latest CAL FIRE update was issued at 7 a.m. on Thursday.
Post Fire 47 Percent Contained, Reported 15,690 Acres
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold a study session Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m., in the Carl Boyer Room at City Hall.
June 27: Arts Commission Study Session
Katherine Dyer has signed her national letter of intent to continue her swimming career at The Master's University.
Katherine Dyer Commits to TMU Swim Program
Every summer, Santa Clarita’s very own Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, transforms into a premiere venue for live musical performances where friends, families and neighbors come together to sing and dance the night away.
Jason Gibbs | Get Ready for Concerts in the Park Summer Soundtrack
California State University, Northridge's Trey Knight, Chase Mars and David Phillips, Jr. will compete at the 2024 United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. beginning June 27.
Several Matadors Qualify for 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials
SCVNews.com