The hiring of relatives is indeed a problem. But it's not limited to Vernon.
As we detailed last year, Villaraigosa played a key role in helping his cousin win election to the Assembly. Pérez was facing two opponents -- Ricardo Lara and Arturo Chavez. Both dropped out of the race after meeting with Villaraigosa:
According to a friend of Lara's who asked not to be identified by the Weekly, the three candidates were invited to sit down for a secret meeting at Getty House...Previously, Villaraigosa had appointed Pérez to the L.A. Civil Service Commission and the board of the Community Redevelopment Agency. But now Pérez has decided that nepotism is very bad and should be denounced.
At the meeting, Villaraigosa offered a deal. They would all support Pérez. In exchange, Lara would run two years later in the 50th Assembly District, with the Fed's backing... Pérez launched his campaign the following month with a clear field.