Doug Pettibone, Mayor Tom Tait’s neighbor whom he personally recruited to run for Anaheim City Council, has withdrawn his candidacy after it surfaced the he had pleaded guilty to an assault charge stemming from a domestic abuse incident in the late 1990s.
Pettibone announced his withdrawal earlier this afternoon in an e-mail to Anaheim City Clerk Linda Andal and copying all the other mayoral and council candidates, stating:
“Last night, for the first time, it was brought to my attention that certain matters that occurred during this custody proceeding sixteen (16) years ago will become public and will be used against myself and perhaps even the Mayor to attack our candidacies.
Please allow me to be frank. I have done some things and said something involved in that custody dispute which I am not proud of but which did occur and which I take full responsibility for. For some reason I believed these records were private and perhaps I was overly hopeful that these issues were so far back in time that they would not or even could not be used against me.”
I never dreamed they could have been used against the Mayor. In fact I did not even believe these records were made available to the public. Had I known these issues, which occurred sixteen (16) years ago, could and would be used against me in this campaign I would have disclosed them to the Mayor upfront before he made the decision to endorse my candidacy.”
The entire withdrawal statement can be read here.
The withdrawal was precipitated by a letter sent to Mayor Tait yesterday evening by Anaheim resident Lisa Lewis:
As an Anaheim voter, as a wife and mother, and as a woman, I would like to bring to your attention to a very serious matter regarding Doug Pettibone, your neighbor down the street whom you personally recruited to run for Anaheim City Council.
In June of 1998, Mr. Pettibone was charged with four misdemeanor counts of battery, battery against a spouse, assault and harassment, stemming from an apparently volatile, hostile domestic violence situation with his first wife. In January 1999, he pled guilty to assault, stemming from this domestic violence incident, which is “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”
Mr. Pettibone is your neighbor and you personally recruited him to run for our city council, but I don’t know if you are or were aware of his pleading of guilty to an assault. If you were, I would like to know why you decided to ask Anaheim voters like myself to support him for city council. If you were not aware of Pettibone’s pleading guilty to an assault, I would like to know how you are going to respond now that you have been made aware of it.
Recent media attention on professional football player Ray Rice’s physical abuse of his wife has sparked renewed public attention on the issues of domestic violence and spousal abuse. My passion on this issue rooted in my personal experience: I suffered abuse at the hands of my former husband. It is one of the reasons I volunteer at the Family Justice Center in Anaheim. The humiliation, isolation and soul-killing awfulness of living in fear of one’s husband is something I would not wish on anyone.
Spousal abuse is a serious issue. One in four women will be victims of violence from a spouse or boyfriend. Seven million children live in families where spousal abuse has occurred. It is one of the leading causes of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44. Over 70% of women injured in domestic violence cases are so victimized after separation from their spouses. Spousal abuse isn’t rare. It is something of which our daughters, sisters, mothers and friends are victims of each day.
This October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Now that you have been made aware of your running mate Mr. Pettibone’s pleading guilty to an assault out of a domestic violence incident, you owe your constituents an explanation as to whether you will continue to vouch for Mr. Pettibone’s fitness to serve on city council and urge your fellow Anaheim citizens to vote for him. Since taking office, you have made “Kindness” the centerpiece of your mayorship. Domestic violence, spousal abuse, acts and threats of physical and emotional abuse; these are the opposite of kindness. What kind of message does it send to the women of Anaheim if on one hand our mayor preaches for us to be kind to each other, while on the other hand asks us to vote for a man who has pled guilty to assaulting his wife?
Anaheim voters like myself deserve your swift response. Thank you.
According to Ms. Lewis, the mayor replied to her this morning in an e-mail saying he was “unaware of the assertions that you present in your letter,” and took them “very seriously” and “would look into this immediately.” She has not heard from the mayor since then, although Pettibone announced his withdrawal this afternoon.
According to TheLiberalOC.com, which broke the story, former Tait campaign volunteer Stephanie Stietler claims the Tait campaign has known for two weeks.
Obviously, not a good day for Pettibone or the Tait Slate, which has been cut in half to only James Vanderbilt. Pettibone was the weaker of the two candidates. He’d only entered the race two months ago, had no previous involvement in Anaheim civic affairs and zero name ID. It would have taken several hundred thousand (from Team Tait as well as independent expenditures) him to have a chance of defeating an incumbent councilmember. Judging by the campaign finance reports being filed, Mayor Tait is doing all the fundraising for his slate, and even that is nowhere near enough.
That still leaves left-wing Democrat Jose Moreno as a de facto second member of the Team Tait. Moreno has endorsed Tait for mayor and they share many of the same stances, as well as volunteers (who no longer have to volunteer their time supporting three candidates for two council seats). Some local politicos are speculating the mayor will now openly endorse Moreno, although I find that highly unlikely. Even if Tait were so inclined personally, practically speaking Mayor Tait will certainly recruit two council candidates in 2016 and will seek their endorsement by the OC Republican Party – and openly endorsing a left-wing Democrat’s campaign to knock out incumbent Republicans would complicate securing such an endorsement.
Sometime an event just speaks for itself, but just in case…
1) It is hard to believe how the candidate and the mayor could be blind-sided by this as they are both attorneys. Moreover, the mayor, while not bright, is no political novice.
2) If the candidate was serious in his convictions, he could have beat the stigma of a sixteen year old conviction.
3) The implosions plaguing Team Tait are so cookie cutter in form, they must be set-up. While I, obviously, feel that Tait is running a suicide operation, the only other possibility is that his campaign has been subversively hijacked by the far-left. Either way, Anaheim is being turned into a joke, and that is not a conducive environment for business or tourism.
4) Mayor Tait should resign and put an end to this damaging circus.
Mayor Tait should not resign. He should be respected for his many contributions to Anaheim through the last decade.
Hi Matt: My name is Doug Pettibone. We have not met but I believe we may even work in the same building. In any event I need to inform you that your blog was forwarded to me by a client of mine. Its a very interesting blog but that is not the purpose of this reply.
Perhaps you can help me track down the source of some of the information in your blog. The charges you reference above were actually dismissed by the district attorney nor was there a battery that was found to have occurred. In fact the “assault” case you claim I plead guilty to was actually dismissed by the district attorney “in the interests of justice”.
I hope you don’t mind me asking but did you just copy this information from the Lewis letter? If so I can take it up with her. I am sure you can appreciate my concern. Any information you can provide as to the source of the information you blogged would be appreciated, Thanks Doug
You cannot just withdraw! His name is still on the ballot. You file your paperwork to be on the ballot and you agree to open up your life. His letter was clearly written to say “don’t get the mayor in trouble.” That is BS! Tait made a horrible mistake and it TRULY impacts his credibility and exposes him for the horrible person he is. GAME OVER!
Adam Elmahrek at Voice of OC is, of course, ignoring the story. if this were Kris Murray’s running mate instead, Adam would write a story every day for a week.
Why doesn’t Tait just put Adam on the payroll? Adam might as well get paid for being Tait’s press agent/attack dog.
Adam could not be bothered with this… he is far too busy trying to spin the idea that his union benefactors dark money is different than Republican dark money.
Honestly, how could Tait not know?
And knowing this, how could he possibly built a Tait Slate highlighting this guy?
I bet Tantrum Tom is in rare form today.
Where is the response from Tom Tait? He is ignoring a letter that was clearly accurate or his candidate wouldn’t have resigned. The people have Anaheim deserve an answer as to why he hand picked someone no one had ever heard of to run for City Council and asked people to vote for him based solely on Taits recommendation. It is blatant absence of leadership to have no response or statement from the Mayor to the citizens of Anaheim. This guy is now on the ballot at Taits direction. I want a response from Tom Tait!
Tait also has some explaining to do with Republicans in Anaheim – he went with Pettibone to the GOP Endorsements committee and tried to get them to endorse his candidate over two Republican women. He couldn’t vet his hand picked candidate enough to ask if this guy had been convicted or plead guilty of a crime?
Lisa B Lewis is co-admin for the Anaheim Hills Buzz w/ Leslie Swann. Both of these ladies are BFF’s w/ Kris Murray. While it’s not a crime to be BFFs w/ Kris Murray it’s a crying shame to trivialize real domestic issues, forcing women in need to relive their daily terror, for political gain. Shameful. You who are without sin, feel free to cast stones.
What’s shameful is the behavior of Taitbots such as yourself. When Tait recruited Pettibone, you and I both know that Tait and his consultants asked him if there was anything in his background that would be harmful. By his own admission, Pettibone said there wasn’t. That was dishonest, but it doesn’t bother you because he was Tait’s guy.
What is shameful is people like you attacking Lisa Lewis and accusing someone who was actually trapped in an abusive marriage of trivializing domestic abuse! You are the one who ought to be ashamed of yourself!
But this is what we can expect from people who are part of a personality cult, not a campaign. You and other Taitbot’s behave like Scientologists do when someone criticizes L. Ron Hubbard. You pretend this is about principles when it is all about one personality: Tom Tait.
Ask yourself this: if Tom Tait had voted for the GardenWalk deal, would you still be supporting him? If he had voted for the Angles MOU, would you still be supporting him? If he was opposed to by-district elections, would you still be supporting him?
The answer is YES, because your support for Tait isn’t based on principle. It’s a personality cult. You don’;t care what Tait says or does at any one moment in time. You will support him no matter what. It’s laughable for you to try and discredit Lisa Lewis because she supports Kris Murray and Gail Eastman.
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