Orange County campaign finance watchdog Shirley Grindle filed a complaint this week with the city of Santa Ana alleging Mayor Miguel Pulido violated state law when he omitted thousands of dollars in campaign debt from his public filings.
In a letter to City Attorney Sonia Carvalho, Grindle outlines how in 2013 Pulido reported $15,750 in unpaid bills to a handful of vendors, but then in 2014 did not report the debt nor any record of it being paid off.
After a Voice of OC article brought the disappearing campaign debt to Grindle’s attention, she sent a letter to Pulido’s attorney, Charles McClung Jr., demanding the mayor’s filings be amended.
“It is my expectation that you will advise Mr. Pulido and Mr. McClung to abide by State law and amend their filings to show these accrued expenses in each report until they are paid or otherwise forgiven,” Grindle wrote in her complaint to Carvalho.
Grindle said if Carvalho doesn’t compel Pulido to amend his reports, she will file a complaint with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.
Carvalho couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Interviews with two of the creditors who hold the debt in question indicate that Pulido may not have had any intention of paying it off.
Betty Torres, Editor at Rumores Spanish Newspaper, said she gave up on chasing Pulido for his campaign debt and ended up forgiving it. She also said that the debt was at least double the $1,500 Pulido reported on his filings.
Bob Stewart, owner of Stewart Sound, said Pulido only paid off the $2,250 debt to his business after learning that Voice of OC was planning to publish an article about the issue.