Complaint filed with Sacramento County Grand Jury alleges bribes, abuse of power by Elk Grove Mayor, city council

A complaint filed with the Sacramento County Grand Jury alleges the Elk Grove Mayor and the city council of bribery and illegally using public resources for political gain.

The complaint was sent yesterday by the Elk Grove Hmong American group, which has politically targeted Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen since she announced her candidacy last summer against then-mayor Steve Ly. The EGHA has argued Singh-Allen made derogatory remarks about the Hmong culture in a published news story. 

In the complaint, the EGHA accused Singh-Allen and council members Pat Hume, Darren Suen, Stephanie Nguyen, and former council member Steve Detrick of "filing a false report to the Grand Jury; misuse of public resources for political purposes; misuse of position and government resources; Bribe; violation of Constitutional rights."  

In their explanation of events, the complainants provided a written outline starting in July 2020 where many women submitted comments against Ly, accusing him of harassment. The comments urged the city council to censure Ly. 

Instead of issuing a censure, the city council submitted a request to the Sacramento County Grand Jury seeking an investigation into the matter. According to Ly, as of today, he has not been contacted by the Grand Jury and was unaware of the contents of this complaint and another filed by EGHA with the California Fair Political Practices Commission. 

This action, the complaint says, was to be a "launchpad of Bobbie-Singh-Allen's mayoral campaign" and the four city council members "abused their power as elected officials to mislead the community and used public resources for political purposes."

The most scurrilous allegation comes from two April 2021 meetings between Singh-Allen, Nguyen, and members of the EGHA. The complaint alleges that the two, to deter a recall effort that was underway, "offered monetary bribes to dissuade us from moving forward" with the undertaking. 

Their summary of the April 2021 events in their complaint can be viewed below:

Click on image to enlarge. 

The Sacramento County Grand Jury select among many submission which citizen and government agency complaints to investigate. Typically the Grand Jury has a 12-month session, but the COVID-19 restrictions extended the current and immediate past term to 18 months. 

Unrelated to the political sabotage they argue was directed at Ly, the complaint also notes an email from an Elk Grove citizen to Elk Grove City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs. That email asserted in October 2020, Councilmember Steve Detrick sent a campaign email in support of Kevin Spease from his city email account. 

Spease won the District 3 seat in a four-candidate race last November.

The complaint adds, "former Vice Mayor Steve Detrick also campaigned and solicited on city property and by use of city resources" and that "he has done this before." 

Nguyen declined to comment, and Singh-Allen did not respond to an inquiry.  

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