Putting This on Sarmiento’s Santa Ana Table and Awaiting a Reply: Anything to These Allegations?

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Unexpected anonymous accusation leveled against Santa Ana Councilman Vincent Sarmiento (third from right.) Let’s hash this out here and now!

[Editor’s Note: This comment came from someone using the name “Ana Tansa,” a cleverly disguised anagram for Santa Ana — we have no idea who it is — in our recent story on Vince Sarmiento’s statements on the OC Water District.  It doesn’t really belong there, and as an anonymous attack it would normally be something that we frown upon, but it’s sufficiently detailed and substantial that instead we’re going to post it here and invite both expansion and rebuttal of the charges.  We will email a link to this post to the Santa Ana City Council membership and staff momentarily.

Honestly, we don’t know what to make of this, and we don’t intend to promote viewers to take this comment at face value — but we do want to be open to real legitimate whistleblowers.  Of course, these kinds of comments don’t come labeled as trustworthy or not, but this seems like a coherent effort at whistleblowing — and it’s probably being pitched in other venues as well — so as relatively “neutral soil” we’re going to let these charges be hashed out here and in real time.  — GAD]

“Ana Tansa” writes:

Per my sources at the SA Planning Dept, another scandal may be brewing with Sarmiento. While the homeless fill up the Civic Center, and service organizations compete for a measly $340K in CDBG funds, Vince strong armed staff into giving $4.7 million in Housing funds to AMCAL whose OC office is led by former Planning Commissioner and Vince buddy Mario Turner. This $4.7 million includes $2 million pure profit and was sole sourced, no competition at all unlike previous developers with strong projects who competed and the poor CDBG service organizations have to do right now. The April 7th Council meeting is where service organizations grovel, and For Profit developers pick up $2 million paydays.

Every City Dept I am told is against this deal, because the City is taking all the risk, including their poor newly hired Housing Division Manager who I was also told was let go today in part because of his opposition to this deal. So while Santa Ana ignores the increasing number of homeless lining up to get free meals on the “Walk of Honor”, FOV’s (Friends of Vince) walk away with $2 million in cash. Looks like Vince is not so much that OC Progressive he lets on…a Republican in sheep’s clothing.

The recorded March 9th FedTech Committee meeting is illuminating because in it Sarmiento and Councilmember Martinez essentially tell staff do not perform due diligence on this transaction.

A storm is brewing over there at City Hall. No one running Planning, no one is running the Housing Dept or Housing Authority, Council committees now dictating to staff outside the normal channels (effectively shutting out the other 5 Council members). Pass the popcorn…April 7th at the Santa Ana City Council is going to be interesting.

Serious if true; scurrilous if faked! What do any of you out there know about this?  We will accept anonymous comments for this item, but if they’re going to be anonymous please make them substantive and do not make them vicious or hyperbolic.  If they add no light to the discussion, they are liable to be spiked.  Now let’s see what we can hash out between now and April 7!


NOTE: OFF-TOPIC COMMENTS ON BENEVIDES AND HIS NON-PROFIT HAVE BEEN MOVED TO ANOTHER POST: http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2015/03/for-those-who-want-to-talk-about-benevides-instead-that-discussion-is-moving-here/


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)