Compton Mayor Omar Bradley cleared of misusing public funds in 2004

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An appeals court overturned the criminal conviction of former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley on Wednesday, nixing him of a 2004 conviction for the misuse of public funds. The mayor was elected in 1993, but left office in 2001.

Bradley initially fought the conviction and a state appeals court refused to throw it out.

But last year the U.S. Supreme Court set a new standard for convicting public officials of crimes, ruling that officials had to know at the time of the crime that what they were doing was illegal.

Bradley then argued that the Compton city manager approved his use of city funds for golf and travel. A three-justice appellate court panel agreed with Bradley and overturned the conviction.

The California Attorney General’s Office will decide whether to further appeal the ruling.

Bradley spent some of his three-year sentence in a halfway house, and has been free on bond while the case was in appeal.

The decision does not affect Bradley’s co-defendants, who were also convicted of misusing city funds. They are former City Councilman Amen Rahh (who paid for dental work with city money) and former city manager John D. Johnson (who was convicted of misappropriation of public funds).

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