An Orange County Superior Court judge has ruled that Santa Ana City Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez may not run for a fourth council term, Voice of OC has confirmed.

An Alvarez-appointed parks commissioner, Max Madrid, had sued the city clerk to force the clerk’s office to issue nomination papers to Alvarez. The councilwoman later joined as a party to the lawsuit.

The suit argued that the city may not retroactively apply the three-term limit that was set out in Measure D and approved by voters in 2008. Alvarez served two of her three terms before the measure’s passage.

Although a copy of the judgment issued by Superior Court Judgre Charles Margines could not be obtained immediately, city Public Information Officer Jose Gonzalez confirmed that a judgment in favor the clerk had been rendered.

Whether Madrid and Alvarez will appeal the ruling is not known. Their attorney in the case, Steve Baric, could not be reached for comment.

Alvarez had also contended that City Clerk Maria Huizar denied Alvarez nomination papers because the clerk had been unduly influenced by Councilmen David Benavides and Carlos Bustamante in a conspiracy to oust her from the council.

Councilman David Benavides said Alvarez’s conspiracy allegation was false and merely an attempt to deflect negative public attention.

— ADAM ELMAHREK

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

BREAKING TEXT ALERTS

Subscribe today to receive Voice of OC’s breaking news text messages (free beyond your standard messaging rates).

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.