Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen was recognized this week as “Local Elected Official of the Year” by the Orange County Republican Party.

“The Republican Party needs more leaders like Janet Nguyen,” said OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh in a press release issued by Nguyen’s campaign.

“She is proof the American Dream still exists. Janet represents the term public servant in the purest sense of the word. She is an advocate for reduced government, taxpayer accountability and she has proven what can be accomplished through hard work and commitment.”

Nguyen, who has been a county supervisor since 2006, is currently under investigation by the state’s political watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, for questionable fundraising tactics during her tenure as the supervisors’ appointee to CalOptima — a managed health care plan serving more than 400,000 poor and elderly residents across the region in lieu of a county hospital.

Nguyen first drew attention from a county grand jury last year for holding fundraisers with hospital industry lobbyists just as she was rewriting the CalOptima ordinance giving medical providers a greater voice on the board.

Following the grand jury report, the FPPC launched a proactive investigation of Nguyen, the entire CalOptima board and all sitting county supervisors at the time. Supervisor Todd Spitzer — himself a locally elected official of the year in 2000 — is the only member of the board not under FPPC investigation.

In the 20 months before March 2011, when Nguyen joined the CalOptima board of directors, she had raised at least $14,815 from the medical industry out of a total $187,141 or about 8 percent of all of her campaign funds.

Since joining the CalOptima board she has raised at least $95,916 of her $400,364 total or about 24 percent of the money that came in during that time frame, according to her campaign reports.

Nguyen is squaring off this year against Assemblyman Jose Solorio for the 34th State Senate District, a race that is expected to be one of the most heated election contests across California this year.

Nguyen stated in a news release put out by her campaign:

I’m humbled to be recognized for the work I have done for the people of my community. In 2013 transportation issues, sweeping changes to healthcare laws and prison realignment proved to be a challenge for many. People have looked to their local government for help and I worked tirelessly to provide leadership in tough economic times.

My commitment is to making government work for the people in the most efficient and responsible manner that is accountable to the taxpayers. I will continue to fight to ensure our county is doing all it can to meet the needs of the community. It is that commitment that I will bring to the State legislature.

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