Vernon surveillance turns sinister

first_imgFor about three weeks leading up to the election, police in South Pasadena said they got two to three calls per shift about the surveillance. Private investigator Mark Summerhays, 38, allegedly pulled a gun on David Johnson, one of the three council candidates, at a South Pasadena gas station on Jan. 29. Summerhays was charged with weapons violations In another incident, Johnson’s adviser, Cris Summers, who lives in South Pasadena, was followed by a vehicle along with her husband, Garry, on April 4, police said. Garry Summers stopped his car, got out and pounded on the window of the trailing car. Private investigator Robert Lampers, 26, then allegedly pulled a gun.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SOUTH PASADENA – Private investigators hired by Vernon officials have harassed people, pulled weapons and driven recklessly, according to police, the latest twist in a bizarre election in Vernon, a tiny industrial city south of Los Angeles. Vernon’s first municipal election in 25 years was held on Tuesday, but the highly disputed votes sit locked up and uncounted because of wrangling over their legality. Leading up to the election, South Pasadena Police called Vernon officials to complain about the private detectives, whose behavior they said was closer to intimidation than undercover surveillance. “What we were concerned about was that it was escalating, to a point where people were not just driving dangerously,” said Police Sgt. Mike Neff. “Now people were pointing guns at other people. They even got mixed up over who they were following.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventAttempts to reach Vernon city officials for comment Saturday were unsuccessful. A City Hall recording said the offices were closed, and did not allow for messages to be left. The problems began in January, when eight people established residence in a commercial building in Vernon, whose population is less than 100. Three of the eight filed petitions to run for the City Council in an attempt to replace incumbents who had held virtually uncontested seats for decades. The challengers – some of whom have ties to South Pasadena residents – had their voter registrations rescinded. Power in their building was shut off, inspectors identified the structure as dangerous, and they were eventually evicted. The incumbents voted to cancel the election, but in March a Superior Court judge revived the challengers’ bid for office, ruling that city officials had acted illegally. last_img

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