Brea Treasurer Rick Rios, Aiming for Election, Instead Drunkenly Hits Two Parked Cars and is Arrested


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Rick Rios isn't working

(Brea, Oct. 20, 2016, 4:15 PM) — The City of Brea’s appointed Treasurer Rick Rios was arrested for driving under the influence after being involved in a hit-and-run accident last Friday night, October 14.  He is currently running for election to the Treasurer’s position against George Ullrich.  Early voting for the general election has, of course, already begun.

UPDATE, 5:55 PM.:  This story has now been confirmed by Lieut. Darrin Devereux of the Brea Police Department, returning a call at my request.  On Friday night at around 11:45 p.m., police received a call from the 100 block of West Juniper that a white SUV had collided with parked cars in a non-injury accident and then left the area.  He stated that his information was that Rios was not arrested at his home, but when he his SUV returned to the area.  Police detected signs of alcohol intoxication, gave him a field sobriety test, and arrested him for both hit-and-run and driving while intoxicated.

(1) The Basics

Here’s what I know so far: Rios’s car hit two parked cars — which I verified in an interview at their home belonged to a mother and her son — on Juniper Street near its intersection with Brea Blvd.  (Presuming that the cars were on his right when he hit them, he would have just turned off of Brea Blvd. onto Juniper and into a housing tract – one where I happen to live.)  I have no indication that anyone was injured.

Rios fled the scene, but a witness was able to identify his car.  An officer located the car (it’s unclear whether the witness tipped him off) and located Rios at home.  [strikeouts indicate revisions after Brea PD comment] Rios was found at his home, given a field sobriety test, and then arrested, booked, and later released with a citation.

(2) Effects Upon the Race

Let’s just say that if Rios — most closely associated with Councilmember Steve Vargas — is still elected Treasurer right after an alcohol-addled hit-and-run, then something is very very wrong with Brea politics.  Unfortunately, something IS very wrong with Brea politics — we’ll cover this when we discuss Measure K, the school bond measure — but those who could possibly exert influence on behalf of their misbegotten candidate hopefully don’t have that kind of pull.  We shall see how the campaign continues. (Taking down some of of those topsail-sized signs might be a nice gesture about now.)

Meanwhile, based on this, OJB will endorse Ullrich (up until now I was in the “pox on them both” camp.)  And we also call on Rios to drop out of the race, because that’s what you should do when you drunkenly smash into two (fortunately unoccupied!) cars after voting has already begun. I presume that neither Mayor Christine Marick nor Marty Simonoff , both current Council candidates, are going to support Rios after this — I may seek comment from them too.


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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.)