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In response to a recent search by the District Attorney’s Office of the home and office of Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, Palmdale Councilman Austin Bishop has suggested a number of interim reforms to “protect the integrity, honesty and transparency” of city hall.

Bishop gave his remarks prior to the recent Law Enforcement Appreciation Day luncheon and stated that while the investigation of Ledford is at the preliminary stage and that the probe must be an open and fair process, public officials, he said, must be “held to a higher standard.”

“I will be asking my colleagues on the [Palmdale] Council to consider several modest steps to protect our residents and demonstrate that we are all committed to the highest ethical standards, and that no one is above the law.”

Bishop’s proposals include asking Ledford to take a voluntary leave of absence until the investigation is completed. Also, the city of Palmdale should pursue its options to suspend any financial relationship with parties under investigation, and also consider contracting with an independent attorney—without favor or a past relationship with Ledford—to ensure full cooperation with the investigation.

“We are a strong community and we will get through this with honesty, integrity and transparency,” Bishop said. “These proposals represent a great place to start and for the four of us council members to collaborate and establish guidance for our city to proceed through this challenge.”