Judge Blocks Move to Bar S. El Monte Recall Vote
A Pasadena judge has squelched a second attempt to block a recall election against Mayor Stan Quintana, now scheduled for Feb. 5.
Superior Court Judge Melvin B. Grover issued a protective order Tuesday, preventing lawyers representing Quintana and the city from taking depositions from members of the committee that circulated the recall petitions last year.
David Sanchez, one of the committee’s leaders, had been issued a subpoena for a deposition. The city lawyers were seeking to verify charges that recall petitions were circulated by non-residents and that some signatures were obtained fraudulently.
“At this stage of the game the attorneys are trying to do some investigating,” Quintana said Wednesday. “Evidently they’re finding some roadblocks from the other side.”
Recall committee attorney Roger Lane Carrick said the proposed depositions were “a blatant attempt at intimidation.”
Investigators for the Los Angeles district attorney’s office are looking into whether petitioners violated election laws. The investigators seized the petitions, with signatures of 1,217 voters, in September.
The recall election was postponed earlier when a South El Monte resident alleged election law violations. But a Superior Court judge subsequently reinstated the election.
Quintana, who has served 13 years on the City Council, has been accused by his opponents of cronyism, wastefulness and supporting a community redevlopment project that has been repudiated by residents of the city.
Meanwhile, Quintana was arraigned last week in Superior Court on one hit-and-run charge and one count of filing a false crime report. The charges are in connection with an Oct. 22 traffic accident in San Gabriel. Authorities said Quintana left the scene of the accident and concocted a story to police to account for the damage to his car.
Quintana would not discuss that case, saying only that he had left the scene after having a discussion with others involved in the accident.