Mayor Dave Way

David Perez (1946-2020) was mayor of Industry for twelve years – a tenure not without controversy. Born in Whittier and raised in La Puente, Perez was the third son of Vicente and Julia Perez, immigrants from northern Spain who met in Los Angeles. After a stint in the Navy, Perez reunited with his brothers Manuel and Patrick in a trash hauling company that had an exclusive contract with Industry by 1970, raising concerns about favoritism even then. Patrick Perez was elected to Industry City Council in 1983 and stepped down in 1992 due to conflict-of-interest allegations. Yet the Perezes’ various enterprises – not just trash hauling but property ownership and other firms – continued to feast upon Industry’s municipal budget. Dave Perez was elected to the mayorship in 2001; he resigned for “health reasons” in 2012, during an audit that would reveal that his family’s companies had made an astonishing $326 million off the city (population: less than 300) across twenty years, with invoices suggesting outright bilking. (Example: $4.9 million for lawnmower rentals.) Yet Perez was never charged with a crime as the contracts were in place before he was elected. No hard feelings: Industry renamed part of Stafford Street Mayor Dave Way a year after his death. It’s home to City Hall.