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




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-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr 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. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)