The following statement intends to provide comment on an aspect not sufficiently discussed regarding the damning allegations of corruption facing the City of Anaheim. According to the information contained in the complaint and accompanying affidavits, there is ample complicity and responsibility that rests on the parties expressly identified in these documents, including the Mayor of Anaheim, the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Anaheim city staff, lobbyists, consultants, and others that enabled this breach of public trust to occur.
The intent of the undersigned is not to further “pile on, grandstand or feign shock” at the obvious problems that have plagued Anaheim’s political infrastructure for years. In fact, many of the same voices now condemning the alleged misconduct had plenty of notice of the same, and likely participated in furtherance of this corrupt behavior; or by their silence allowed it to continue unaddressed.
We, the undersigned, would prefer to thank Councilmember Jose F. Moreno for making his best efforts to draw attention to the abuse, neglect and harm inflicted on the residents of Anaheim by the corrupt conduct he personally witnessed. Councilmember Moreno, along with former Councilmember Denise Barnes, were the only dissenting voices of reason that were repeatedly silenced and/or ignored in their attempts to prevent the well-orchestrated undue influence by so many. As with other acts of abuse of authority or political corruption, there is rarely a sole villain but rather a conspiratorial effort by many to deceive the public and manipulate the political process. Councilmember Moreno’s strong dissenting voice on matters involving abuse of process and illegal use of public funds were consistently ignored and thwarted by a majority of the Anaheim City Council.
Given the disingenuous moral outrage now publicly shown by so many that not only failed to listen to a colleague, but more importantly, actively assisted in silencing his voice, we demand that the rules adopted to prevent matters such as this from being raised by any member of the Anaheim City Council be rescinded in order for the public to have the opportunity to assess all matters, not simply those presented by the Council majority. Moreover, we also demand that those individuals that participated, enabled or acquiesced by remaining silent to further the alleged misconduct resign or disclose their role in this organized corruption.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations, and other investigative agencies with jurisdictional authority, must cast a wide enough net to capture any and all that directly or indirectly aided, abetted, or facilitated in the alleged illicit conduct including members of the Anaheim City Council, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, City staff, lobbyists, consultants and pay to play blogs that are funded simply to the distort the truth and attack those attempting to speak against corrupt behavior. We further believe that members of the Council that allowed this harm to be caused upon the residents of Anaheim immediately resign, or allow the federal magistrate assigned to this matter take jurisdiction over the deliberative proceedings of the Anaheim City Council pending the investigative phase in order to protect the public’s assets. In the alternative, members of the City Council have a final opportunity to demonstrate to the people of Anaheim they will begin to remedy this matter by appointing Councilmember Moreno as interim Mayor during the pendency of this sad chapter in the City’s history. Finally, we agree with Councilmember Moreno that special interest money, irrespective of the source, must be kept out of local elections. Unfortunately, we now have another example of the damage these outside interests can cause by continuing to undermine the will of the community.
City of Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento
City of Santa Ana Councilmember Johnathan Ryan Hernandez
City of Santa Ana Councilmember Jessie Lopez
Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Trustee Carolyn Torres
Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Trustee Dr. Alfonso Alvarez
Opinions expressed in community opinion pieces belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.
Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.