Sarmiento elected to serve on NALEO’s Board at a meeting in D.C. and more...


Sarmiento elected to serve on NALEO’s Board at a meeting in D.C.

City of Santa Ana, Downtown Orange County

Community: Mayor Pro Tem Sarmiento Elected to NALEO Board of Directors

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) has elected Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Vicente Sarmiento to serve a three-year term on the NALEO Board of Directors to begin June 2016 and end in June 2019.

The Board elections took place yesterday at the NALEO Board meeting in Washington, D.C., immediately following the NALEO 33rd Annual Conference. NALEO is the non-partisan leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials.

On his selection, Mayor Pro Tem Sarmiento commented, “I’ve been a member and strong supporter of NALEO’s work on behalf of the Latino community. I will put forward my best efforts to further the strong legacy of accomplishments achieved by NALEO and its Board.”

NALEO is governed by a 28 member Board of Directors, which up to just recently was led by Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez. As the Immediate Past President of the NALEO Board, Martinez stated, “I believe Mayor Pro Tem Sarmiento will be a strong contributor on the NALEO Board. His dedication and commitment to furthering local participation in the American political process will be a great asset to mobilizing the Latino community at the national level as well.”

To learn more about NALEO, visit their website at www.naleo.org.

    
 


19-year-old gets a one-year jail sentence after beating a grandfather with a bat

Samuel Elijah Alvarez, a 19-year-old man from Santa Ana pleaded guilty Friday and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail for beating a great-grandfather with an aluminum bat when the senior citizen tripped and fell on top of Alvarez’ car, according to the O.C. Register.

Alvarez was also handed five years of formal probation.

Alvarez got very lucky as he was initially charged with attempted murder. For whatever reason that felony charge was dropped in April after a preliminary hearing. An Orange County Superior Court Judge named Kathleen Roberts dismissed that attempted murder charge, which could have resulted in a life sentence for Alvarez.

Alvarez also pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon and battery with serious bodily injury, which are both felonies. And he also admitted to a misdemeanor charge of possessing a deadly weapon. But sentencing enhancement allegations for personally using a deadly weapon were dismissed along with a felony count of inflicting injury on an elder adult.

Alvarez’s criminal defense lawyer, Michael Garey, said that the Judge viewed a video of the assault several times during the preliminary hearing in April. And yet she still let Alvarez off easy.

Alvarez attacked Santa Ana’s Jose Chacon, his 71-year-old victim, at a 76 gas station located at 4502 Westminster Ave., at about 7:25 p.m.

As Chacon was walking out of the gas station he tripped and fell on top of Alvarez’s car, according to the SAPD. Alvarez then jumped out of his car and argued with Chacon. Alvarez then retrieved an aluminum baseball bat out of his vehicle and he began charging at Chacon, who responded by getting a small pipe out of his truck to try to protect himself, according to the OCDA.

As you might imagine, when Alvarez raised his bat in what Chacon felt was a threatening manner, the elderly man took a swing with his pipe at his much younger assailant. Chacon missed but Alvarez did not. Alvarez struck Chacon with his bat on his body then slammed the bat onto Chacon’s head, causing him to hit the pavement.

Chacon suffered three jaw fractures and he had to undergo surgery. His mouth was wired shut. Four of his teeth were loosened and he was left with bruises on his left arm and scrapes to his hand. He also required stitches to his face, which was so badly beaten and bruised that he could not be recognized by his family.

For all that Alvarez is looking at only one year in jail thanks to Judge Roberts.

    
 


Watch Dirty Dancing under the stars for free at Fairhaven Memorial Park

 

Join Johnny and Baby and ‘have the time of your life’ at Fairhaven Memorial Park’s free screening of “Dirty Dancing” on Saturday, July 16 at 8:15 p.m.

Whether it’s your first time seeing this classic, or your tenth, pack a picnic, a blanket, and enjoy a movie night under the stars. The event area will open at 7:30 p.m.

Date and Time: Saturday, July 16 at 8:15 p.m.

Location: Fairhaven Memorial Park, 1702 E Fairhaven Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Cost: Free

For more information click here.

    
 


Santa Ana’s City Manager wrongfully accused Council Member Martinez of sexual harassment

The depravity of Santa Ana’s overpaid City Manager, David Cavazos, seemingly knows no end. A private investigation, by the law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, which was initiated after Mayor Miguel Pulido and Council Member Michele Martinez complained about Cavazos in an email to City Attorney Sonia Carvalho, on Sep. 27, found that Cavazos failed to disclose a romantic relationship with a Santa Ana employee until a year after the fact, and that his complaint of sexual harassment by Martinez was without merit, according to the O.C. Register.

While the investigative report did not indicate that Cavazos violated the city’s personnel policies, Pulido rightfully said that Cavazos’ behavior exposed the city to millions of dollars of potential liability. Pulido intends to continue to go after Cavazos, which we applaud. 

It is unbelievable that Cavazos went as far as to accuse Martinez of sexually harassing him. I believe he is going to come to regret this false accusation.

Michele Martinez NALEO

He said that Martinez invited him to her hotel and a non-work-related happy hour in 2013 and that she questioned his housing allowance, eligibility for a bonus and performance evaluation because he had rejected her supposed romantic interest.

But investigators believed Martinez when she said that she gave Cavazos bicycle shorts as a friendly gesture.

Anyone who knows Martinez knows that she is friendly and she does value wellness. Giving someone bicycle shorts and encouraging them to get active is exactly what I would expect of her.

Perhaps Cavazos was projecting as the investigation found that he began a romantic, consensual relationship with a city employee in August or September of 2014 and he purposefully did not disclose it until a year later in an Aug. 27 email to Pulido.

Cavazos made the ridiculous excuse that because the city employee he is having a dalliance with works in a different department and he allegedly has no work interaction with her it was okay for him to keep his romance private.

He also alleged that he met the city employee outside of work. But the report indicated that both Cavazos and the woman in question knew that they both worked for the city when they met.

To make matters worse, the report also found that Cavazos asked a city employee, whose name was redacted, to write a memo about a phone call the employee had with Pulido regarding an appointment to a different position. And Cavazos searched Pulido’s and Martinez’s emails without authorization, however it was not clear due to redactions whether Cavazos, accused of signing off on the monitoring, ordered it.

The report also found that there was insufficient evidence to show that Cavazos improperly influenced recruitment of an employment selection panel last August and September.

Pulido was not pleased by Cavazos’ horrible and malicious accusation against Martinez. He said that “His false accusation claiming that Councilmember Martinez sexually harassed him were found to be completely untrue and this type of behavior and judgment from a city manager is of grave concern to me.”

Pulido is not done with Cavazos. He plans to propose a new city ordinance that would prohibit personal relationships between city employees. Pulido said that other cities have established similar policies.

Martinez ripped Cavazos too, in a text message that stated that “residents deserve a city manager that “leads by example in a professional and ethical manner. Now that the investigation is concluded and the facts are on the table, it is abundantly clear that Mr. (Cavazos) did not live up to our expectations.”

As one might expect, Councilman David Benavides, who divorced his wife while running unsuccessfully against Pulido a few years ago and recently married one of his city commissioners, defended Cavazos, stating that “whatever was spent (on  the investigation) was too much.”

Gerry Serrano, president of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, said the findings of the investigation were “alarming.” He also said that “It tends to show that the city manager is being less than truthful. There are some serious allegations that, if true, probably require further investigation and some type of action.”

David Cavazos

Cavazos is paid more than $370K per year as well as $117K in benefits. Benavides and his Council colleagues voted to give Cavazos a $17,085 bonus in January and the following month they extended his contract until February 2019 instead of October 2017.

Cavazos earns more than any city worker in all of Orange County and he is the sixth-highest paid city manager in all of California. We are paying a fortune for this unethical man!

    

Free OC Animal Care Annual Pet Fair set for today in Orange

Have Some “Fun in the Sun” at OC Animal Care’s Annual Pet Fair

(Orange, CA) OC Animal Care will be hosting its annual Pet Fair event this Saturday, June 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at 561 The City Drive South, Orange.  The event, which is sponsored by Supervisor Shawn Nelson and 4th District, will feature free adoptions for all pets adopted from OC Animal Care.  The free adoption does not include the cost of the microchip or licensing.  In 2015, 87 shelter pets found their new forever home during Pet Fair.  This year, we aim to adopt more than 100!

In addition to discounted adoptions, visitors of all ages will enjoy the following:

  • Visit more than 50 animal rescue groups and pet related vendors
  • Spin and Win great pet care prizes
  • Tour the SCVVC Mutt Medics Mobile Spay/Neuter Vehicle
  • Meet Therapy dogs and learn about responsible pet ownership during the Katy Cares presentation
  • Watch trainers demonstrate positive reinforcement techniques that work on a variety of pets
  • Meet exotic reptiles during a So Cal Herp Association and Rescue demonstration
  • Fuel up and cool down at the Classic Taco and Kona Ice food trucks
  • Take a free “Fun in the Sun” photo with your family and/or furry friends

OC Pet Fair

“We invite animal lovers of all ages to celebrate this wonderful day with us,” said Shawn Nelson, 4th District Supervisor.  “Pet Fair 2016 will be a great opportunity for us to welcome our community, promote responsible pet ownership, highlight the many services we provide, and most importantly, find loving homes for the many animals in our care.”

For more information on this event or available pets, call 714-935-6848 or visit our website at www.ocpetinfo.com.

    

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