Thomas Mauk, the man who wouldn't be L.A. County CAO, wasn't the first to reject a deal with the Board of Supervisors. Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward County (Fla.) Medical Examiner who is very visibly investigating the death of Anna Nicole Smith, was hired in 1991 to be the Los Angeles County coroner — but he walked away from the job because his wife thought SoCal was too expensive and rather unkempt compared to Pittsburgh.
The county was willing to loan Perper 30% of the cost of a home, on top of his $150,000 a year salary. But Perper and his wife still couldn't afford anything close to the 5,000-square-foot home on an acre of land they had in suburban Allegheny County. Sheila Perper also said she was surprised by the relatively poor condition of the 25 homes she looked at from Century City to Newport Beach. She saw only one she liked — on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, telling the Times in 1991:
"Roofs, windows, floors, kitchen cabinets, everything was in horrible condition," said Sheila Perper, who has sold real estate in Allegheny County for 10 years. "I am very disappointed in the way Californians keep up their properties. It was appalling to me....
"I had the idea that California has a very civilized lifestyle. "I had the biggest letdown of my life. I understand that there is a drought, but people can at least rake their yards."
She likes Florida better? Perper took his current job in 1994.
Photo: Candace Barbot/Miami Herald