SANTA ANA : Attorney Said to Be Under Investigation
The Orange County Grand Jury is reportedly investigating allegations that Santa Ana attorney and Latino rights activist Rodolfo Montejano tried to improperly pressure City Councilman Miguel A. Pulido Jr. to approve the construction of billboards proposed by one of his clients.
According to city officials who spoke on condition that they not be identified, the investigation stems from complaints received by the district attorney’s office alleging that Montejano, who represents Los Angeles-based Regency Outdoor Advertising, lobbied Pulido and other council members to approve the building of eight 600-square-foot billboards--twice the size of those allowed by city ordinance.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Maurice L. Evans said he could not comment on whether there is a grand jury investigation.
But City Manager David N. Ream and Pulido confirmed that they have been subpoenaed by the grand jury to appear as witnesses on Sept. 17.
Montejano said Monday that he knows nothing about any investigation and has never improperly pressured Pulido.
He said the allegations were “unfounded” and “silly.”
“I’m tired of innuendoes and lies. I haven’t lobbied anyone,” Montejano said. “I’m an attorney. I’m entitled to have clients and represent their interests. . . .
“The D.A. has an obligation to pursue allegations. They can’t tell if these allegations are fiction or truth. So this is unfair for me. . . . I can go to the D.A. with a hatful of lies and leak it to the press.”
Pulido said Monday that he was pressured by the billboard companies and Montejano early this year to help get the billboards approved. The companies dropped their applications, however, in February because they did not have enough votes on the council, company officials acknowledged at the time.
“My support was sought repeatedly on the billboard issue this year,” Pulido said. “I had constant phone calls and discussions.”
Montejano said he met several times with Pulido and representatives of the advertising company. But he denied ever trying to pressure the councilman.