An Orange County District Attorney’s office investigator requested nomination papers filed by Santa Ana City Council candidate Miguel “Mike” Gonzalez, the city clerk confirmed last week, an indication that prosecutors could be investigating whether Gonzalez made false statements about his residency.
Gonzalez, who is running against Ward 6 incumbent Sal Tinajero, stated on his nomination papers and under penalty of perjury that he lives at 2021 S. Fairview St. in Santa Ana.
But Gonzalez states on other records that he lives in Fountain Valley. And records show that since 2005 Gonzalez has taken advantage of a property tax exemption on a Fountain Valley house, which he can only qualify for if that home is his primary residence.
Yet Gonzalez, who is backed by Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and owns the El Mexicanisimo nightclub on First Street, has been voting from and running for office in Santa Ana. In 2008, he was a candidate for the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education.
City Clerk Maria Huizar confirmed to a reporter that, following a September Voice of OC article about Gonzalez's residency, her office handed over his nomination papers to DA investigator Paul Litchenberg.
If Gonzalez indeed lied on his nomination papers, it could amount to felony charges.
Just last month, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas accused County Assessor Webster Guillory of filing false nomination papers and charged him with three felonies. Rackauckas claims that Guillory signed a statement attesting to circulating the papers and collecting nomination signatures, when in fact he didn’t.
Gonzalez, who also owns Anaheim-based Santa Ana Security Services, could not be reached for comment. But when asked previously about his residency discrepancy, Gonzalez insisted he's lived in Santa Ana for 25 years and refused to comment further, saying only that he’s been advised by a lawyer not to comment.
Meanwhile, local blogger Art Pedroza defended Gonzalez in a Sept. 23 post, claiming that the Fountain Valley home exists so Gonzalez’s children can attend school in a different district.