Just in time for the Nov. 6 election, Orange County Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly, the Democratic Party’s nominee for the 69th Assembly District, was cleared of the sexual harassment charges that had been hanging over him for weeks, according to an independent investigator hired by the County of Orange.
Daly, in a statement released by the county, said the anonymous complaint was “simply a pathetic attempt to smear me. While the lies of the anonymous complainer are appalling, so is the unnecessary waste of tax dollars spent on this investigation,” according to the L.A. Times.
Daly is of course quite wrong. The County had a duty to investigate the charges, particularly in the wake of the Carlos Bustamante scandal. And while Daly was cleared what that means is that the investigator could not find enough evidence to bust him. That doesn’t mean he was innocent.
Daly’s Republican general election opponent, Jose Moreno, had to quit the race after being accused of violating an obscure Federal law called the Hatch Act, which prevents employees of municipal agencies that receive Federal grants or funding from running for legislative offices. Moreno works for the O.C. Health Care Agency.
But Daly should be cautious not to celebrate too much. He will at most serve two years in Sacramento. He must run for re-election in 2014, and it is guaranteed that this time he will be challenged by a Latino candidate who can win.
Santa Ana Council Member Vince Sarmiento could have beat Daly this year but he got cold feet and withdrew. I am told he regrets his lack of nerve now.
I am also told that longtime Daly ally Loretta Sanchez and other area Latino leaders are not happy that the most Latino Assembly District in Orange County is going to be represented by Daly. He is literally a dead man walking.
The Disney company is happy though. They spent a fortune as did their pals in the SOAR PAC, trying to elect Daly.