The 575-acre Peter F. Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights is designed for strolling, hiking, picnics, youth camping, soccer, and tennis. Tennis lessons for children are available all year, and exercise programs are free of charge. The park’s remaining acres have been left in their natural state and are crisscrossed by hiking, biking, and horseback riding routes that connect to the famous Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail.
Peter Frank Schabarum
Peter Frank Schabarum (January 9, 1929 – August 2, 2021) was an American politician and football player who served in the California State Assembly and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Schabarum was born in Los Angeles on January 9, 1929. He went to the University of California, Berkeley, and played football and baseball there.
He was picked in the second round (17th overall) of the 1951 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He played for the 49ers in 1951, 1953, and 1954, taking a break from football to serve in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
Schabarum died on August 1, 2021, of natural causes, at the age of 92.
Schabarum served in the California State Assembly from 1967 to 1972, representing the 49th district. Following the death of incumbent Frank G. Bonelli, he was appointed to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in March 1972 by Gov. Ronald Reagan and elected three months later in a closely contested special election against his former roommate and colleague Assemblyman William Campbell. Schabarum was re-elected to the Senate in 1974, 1978, 1982, and 1986. He did not run for re-election in 1990, but stayed in office for three months until Feb. 28, 1991, to enable for a special election in response to a court judgment that redrawn the boundaries of his district to establish a majority-Latino seat, which was ultimately occupied by Gloria Molina.
Schabarum was known for his opposition to government unions, support for privatization of certain county functions, and support for county government decentralization. Furthermore, he was a major supporter of Proposition 140 on the California ballot in 1990, which set term limits on the California Legislature.
Conviction for tax evasion
When Schabarum departed office, his unspent campaign money were handed to the Foundation for Citizen Representation, a non-profit organization. After he left office, that foundation transferred $50,000 to a charity linked with the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, which used the funds for abroad vacations for him and his wife. Prosecutors charged Schabarum with felony grand theft, tax evasion, and perjury, but Schabarum accepted a plea bargain that allowed him to plead guilty merely to the tax evasion charges and get three years of probation. The charges were reduced to misdemeanors two years later, and the probation was terminated early.
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