BELL GARDENS : Council Passes Probe of Residency

A private investigator hired by the city to determine where the five City Council members live has found that they all appear to reside in the city, as required by law.

The council ordered the probe last month after questions were raised about the residency of Councilmen George T. Deitch and Rodolfo (Rudy) Garcia. A council watchdog contended that Deitch lives in Downey, and Councilwoman Josefina (Josie) Macias expressed concerns about where Garcia lives.

Investigator Ken Arnold said he checked voter registration records and interviewed neighbors of each council member. He also obtained sworn statements from four council members, asserting that they live in the city.

However, Deitch refused to sign a sworn statement. Although he joined the other council members in voting to hire the investigator, he said he did not agree with the investigation and wanted nothing to do with it.

Arnold said he was satisfied that Deitch lives in Bell Gardens after checking the councilman's voter registration record and interviewing Deitch's daughter, Kathy, who lives in a duplex next to the Florence Avenue apartment complex Deitch lists as his residence.

Arnold, who is with Telesis Investigative Agency of Los Alamitos, submitted his report to City Manager Charles Gomez.

Deitch has acknowledged that his family lives in Downey. He said he moved his family there several months ago because he is trying to sell the house. "Empty houses don't sell," said Deitch, who is a real estate broker.

The investigator also concluded that Garcia lives in an apartment on Jaboneria Road in Bell Gardens. Garcia moved here from Bell before filing for candidacy in 1991.

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