Letter to the Editor - Hume & Moreno: Illegal Misuse of Public Money Costing Sacramento Taxpayers


Editors note: Elk Grove News accepts letter to the editors and publication does not imply support for the statements or positions of the writer. This letter from Sacramento County Board of Supervisors candidate Steve Ly is being posted in the interest of political dialogue.  

On July 27, 2012, the El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson released a statement indicating that the District Attorney’s Office had filed a civil complaint against political operatives Dan Dellinger and Christopher Alarcon for using public money to run interference and navigate any obstacles that might prevent passage of a tax increase.  The pair were charged with one count of an illegal public gift, two counts of negligent and unlawful use of public resources for campaign activity, one count of illegal acts of expenditure of local agency funds to support the approval of a ballot measure and one count of unlawful business practices.

In January 2014, former Kentucky agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for spending public funds on himself, his family and friends while serving in the role from 2004-2011.

On May 1, 2015, David Wildstein, the former director of Interstate Capital Projects at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison for using the authority’s resources to facilitate and conceal the cause of traffic problems in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in order to punish that borough’s mayor for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign.

Campaign finance abuses are practically as old as politics.  When Californians passed The Political Reform act of 1974, they simultaneously created the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to administer and enforce the ethics law, as well as inform and assist public officials, employees and candidates to comply with its provisions.  Penalties imposed for campaign finance violations should be swift and harsh and public officials who break these laws need to be held accountable at the federal, state, and local levels.  The consequences of such violations should be no different in Washington DC than they are right here in Sacramento County.

My name is Steve Ly, and I am running for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors District 5 seat in the June primary election.  Among my challengers in the upcoming election are Pat Hume and Jaclyn Moreno, two opponents who have a history of misusing public influence and power for personal political gain.

As many of you are aware, there were unsubstantiated and unsupported allegations of harassment made against me during my previous mayoral campaign. These allegations were ultimately brought before the Elk Grove City Council, where it was resolved not to censure me and instead refer the matter to the Sacramento County grand jury.  Mr. Hume, at great public expense, pushed for the grand jury hearing despite the fact that there was no credible evidence of such behavior and despite the fact that ultimately these falsehoods were proven (by grand jury) to be nothing more a manipulation of the public trust and a gross violation of public funds in order to essentially fund a political attack on an opponent. In the end, the grand jury chose not to investigate the case due to conflicting and inaccurate accounts and no evidence whatsoever.

The grand jury choosing to not entertain these overreaching and false referrals by the Elk Grove City Council is no surprise.  As I have stated from the very beginning and as has been reported by Chief of Police Tim Albright to the council in July of 2020, and affirmed by Detective Benitez, there is no substance to the lies made against me. It is shameful to witness politicians intentionally manipulating the public narrative for political gain. Perhaps Mr. Hume should consider reimbursing the public funds misspent on this fool’s errand.

Similarly, in a position of public influence, Ms. Moreno’s husband, a public defender with access to high-ranking governmental officials and otherwise confidential information, leveraged his post in order to obtain information that might help his wife’s campaign against me. Once again choosing to willfully ignore the ultimate expense to the taxpayer’s time and money.

This type of political manipulation is shameful and should never be accepted by the constituents of Elk Grove and Sacramento County.  And, pursuant to the State of California Government Code 8314(a), “It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law, this type of political manipulation very well might be illegal as well.

At its most basic level, a democracy is governed under the umbrella of the “Rule of Law,” which states that every individual, no matter how wealthy or powerful or politically leveraged, is equally subject to the law and no one single individual stands above the law.  With their actions to sabotage my campaign with lies, falsehoods and public manipulation, Mr. Hume and Ms. Moreno clearly view themselves outside of this umbrella and do not feel accountable to answer for their behaviors.

We, as a community, cannot tolerate this type of political exploitation or we risk far greater consequences than a lost election.  We must demand that the same laws apply to everyone including citizens, businesses and government entities.  We must demand transparency of political agendas in order to assure protection of our fundamental human rights and avoid abuses at the hands of those in power.  And, finally, we must demand an independent judiciary committee as an arbitrator to ensure that the law is applied equally and fairly to both citizens and public officials.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of examples we can cite to demonstrate the lengths people will go to in order to gain political favor and gather political influence.  As citizens we have no control over the actions of others.

But what we certainly can control is whether or not we want these types of people representing us in our local governments.  I urge you to stand beside me.

Steve Ly, Elk Grove

Candidate for District 5 Sacramento County Board of Supervisors 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Kudos to Mr. Ly for calling out his opponents on their dirty tricks campaigning. Of course it is easy for them to hide behind the independent expenditure committees and say, "who me?". Nevertheless, you have my vote, primarily because you took the high road during your Mayoral bid, and also now after this latest attempt to railroad you.

White Hat said...

Give it a break Mr. Ly. All you are showing the public is that you're a crybaby. You cried about attack ads against you, which have been going on for years against pretty much anyone that has ran for public office. You cried about your signs being knocked over when we have had extremely strong winds and blowing everything over, even trees. Now you're making these claims. If by chance you were to win, my guess is you would throw another temper tantrum if people didn't agree with you. Maybe it's time for you to leave the public eye.

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