Orange County Assessor Webster Guillory, who once proposed using inspectors to peep into backyards to see if a homeowner had installed a pool or made an improvement to a house that wasn’t coming up on its assessment, has been sued by one of his opponents. Guillory, 70, is running for re-election to the Assessor’s office that he’s held since 1998.
Guillory is one of the rare Democrats in Orange County government.
An opponent’s complaint to the district attorney alleges county Assessor Webster Guillory’s collection of election signatures from employees in his office violates state law, but the legal memo in the complaint doesn’t explicitly ban the practice. Additionally, two elections lawyers told the Register that while fundraising in county offices is illegal, they know of no law banning signatures from being gathered there.
Jorge Lopez, a former employee of Guillory at the Assessors office, filed the suit. Lopez is running against Guillory in the June primary election.
Guillory claimed the signatures were gathered “gathered outside the building during the employees’ break”. He’s apparently not in trouble with the DA (when would T-Rack ever find a government official guilty of anything?), but the incident seems strangely similar to Troy Edgar‘s and Brett Barbre’s adventures last March at the Registrar of Voters when Edgar tried at the last minute to register for the Clerk-Recorder’s race. Edgar and Barbre, his greasy campaign manager from Edgar’s failed AD72 race in 2010 (he lost in an 11-point landslide), sued the Registrar for not accepting signatures that were collected in the ROV office after the 5pm deadline. The pair was caught on video breaking the rules, the suit failed and Edgar was left to deal with the trash haulers in Los Alamitos.
It’s not Guillory’s first time in the blogosphere, or in front of the District Attorney: OC Assessor Guillory Clear of Criminal Wrongdoing.
We suspect nothing will come of this, and Guillory will be on the incumbent’s fast-track to another four years of fruitful County employment — after which he’ll enjoy a very comfortable retirement on our dime. But considering there’s been two issues this cycle with the simplest of basic election protocols — signature gathering — we really question just how professional, law-abiding, organized and plain smart these “public servant” politicos really are, because this is
Update — Norberto Santana’s story from 5/22 in the Voice of OC: Questions Surround Assessor Nomination Signatures.