OC Latino Organizations Call for Grand Jury Investigation of Santa Ana Officials and Mayor Miguel Pulido!

Seven Latino organizations will host a press conference Wednesday January 5th at 9:00 AM as they ask the Orange County Grand Jury to investigate top Santa Ana officials including Mayor Miguel Pulido, the city police chief and the city attorney.

Accountability & Transparency

“The organizations are ready to help the City of Santa Ana solve its many issues, but are concerned about a pattern and practice of abusing the public trust and money.  The majority of the top leaders of these organizations are military veterans who are concerned about lack of accountability, transparency, and abuse of taxpayer funds, and violations of laws and highest professional and ethical standards, and feel compelled to speak up on behalf of the community,” said Francisco Barragán, Commander of the United Mexican-American Veterans Association.

“Resident complaints have little impact.  We need an outside agency to investigate and protect the taxpayers and voters of Santa Ana before we see another Bell,” added Amin David, founding member of Los Amigos of Orange County.

The groups filing the complaint Wednesday include:

  1. Los Amigos of Orange County,
  2. the state’s League of United Latin American Citizens(LULAC),
  3. The Santa Ana Council of LULAC,
  4. United Mexican-American Veterans Association,
  5. The Rudy Escalante Chapter of the American GI Forum of the United States,
  6. MANA de Orange County, and
  7. the Santa Ana Coalition for Better Government.

Barragán and others have spoken at Santa Ana City Council meetings to no avail.

One group, the Santa Ana Coalition for Better Government, staged a silent vigil last month to protest the abuses as Mayor Miguel Pulido was inaugurated to his eighth term.

Silent Vigil at Inauguration

The groups have asked the Grand Jury to investigate the following:

  • A severance package totaling $337,779 to City Attorney Joseph Fletcher including $142,000 of severance and other benefits.  Fletcher’s start date was backdated 13 years increasing his unused vacation and sick days to $191,699. Severance should be provided upon termination. Fletcher appears to have resigned.
  • City Police Chief Paul Walters used his police affiliation and rank in a robo-call the day before municipal elections to support Mayor Miguel Pulido in which he made false statements.  In the call made during work hours, the chief made it sound as if he had conducted an official investigation that never occurred. The call, possibly made under duress while police contracts were pending, appears to be a violation of ethics, professional standards and state law.
  • Mayor Miguel Pulido was set to receive a $500,000 finder’s fee after using his clout as mayor to link developers, who have already paid him consulting fees, to the sale of state-owned property. Bringing buyers to the table to purchase property requires a real estate broker’s or agent’s licenseUsing the mayor’s office for personal gain violates the city’s code of ethics ordinance.
  • City council members voted on a housing project even though five of even received donations from the developers. Three abstained but two who took money voted on the project anyway.  The unethical behavior is just one numerous ways in which developers are controlling votes in Santa Ana with the help of its leadership.

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