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When Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido asked friend and local powerbroker James “Walkie” Ray for a personal loan, Pulido gave assurance that he sought the city attorney’s advice on whether he could vote for a charitable project important to Ray.

Turns out that didn’t happen. City Attorney Sonia Carvalho told a Voice of OC reporter she’s never advised anyone at City Hall on the conflict of interest rules surrounding personal loans.

The revelation comes after a Voice of OC article last week that showed Pulido took out several personal loans from Ray and other wealthy friends and supporters. Ray is a donor and key supporter to the hands-on children’s learning center known as the Discovery Cube Orange County.

Ray told Voice of OC he loaned Pulido $5,000, but not before asking Pulido whether the mayor could still vote on issues related to the learning center should they for any reason come before council.

Pulido told told Ray that he asked the city attorney for advice and was assured he could vote without any problems.

Carvalho said she wouldn’t comment on any specific conversations she’s had with council members, citing attorney-client privilege, but confirmed that she hasn’t advised anyone at the city on personal loans.

“I don’t provide advice on personal loans,” Carvalho said when asked after last week’s City Council meeting. “I don’t.”

Ray didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

Please contact Adam Elmahrek directly at aelmahrek@voiceofoc.org and follow him on Twitter: @adamelmahrek

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