The industrial city of Vernon (pop. 90) is in a battle for survival against Speaker John Perez, who is trying to disincorporate the city in response to its long history of corruption.

To bolster his case, Perez sent Vernon a voluminous public records request, seeking everything from minutes of meetings for the last decade to the city's contracts with lobbyists, to employee expense reports and compensation agreements, and on and on.

Last week, Vernon wrote back, advising Perez that the requested documents would fill 700 to 800 boxes, weighing 15 metric tons, and would cost $3 million to produce.

“To transport these boxes to Sacramento, we will package them on pallets and deliver them using a Teamsters trucking firm,” wrote Mark Whitworth, the city's administrator.

Whitworth requested a $200,000 up-front payment as a demonstration of good faith.

“Without question these requests will require a large staff several thousands of hours to review,” Whitworth wrote. “These requests reiterate your desire to bring the City to a grinding halt as part of your overall effort to kill it.”

Perez's spokeswoman, Shannon Murphy, told the Sacramento Bee that Vernon's response is “ridiculous.”

The Assembly voted last week to disincorporate Vernon. The bill, AB 46, now moves to the Senate.

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