Filipino American Myrna Lardizabal de Vera, who was serving as vice mayor of Hercules, in Contra Costa County, is now the mayor, following the ouster of incumbent Joanne Ward, reports

A landslide recall vote deposed Ward and Council member Donald Kuehne during special elections last June 7. De Vera will hold the mayoral seat until end of this year.

The Hercules political leadership has been in turmoit since a 2009-2010 Contra Costa Grand Jury report confirmed citizens' complaints and newspaper reports of nepotism, lack of transparency and other irregularities.

The town’s former mayor, Ed Balico, who is also Filipino-American, resigned last year amid allegations of impropriety.

De Vera, a member of the Hercules Chamber of Commerce, owned an insurance agency in San Francisco and completed her education the University of the Philippines, that country's state university. De Vera, her husband Manuel, and sons Mark, Christian and Emmanuel have
been residents of Hercules for the past 19 years. In November’s election, she won a seat as councilor.

About a third of the city's 24,623 residents are foreign-born, the majority of them naturalized U.S. citizens. Hercules has a median family income of $85,000, compared to $59,000 for the state of California.