The Pettibone Withdrawal and Tait’s Judgment

Endorsed by Tait bannerAnaheim Insider here.

Doug Pettibone has dropped out of the race for Anaheim City Council, although his name will still be  on the ballot. After initial stunned silence, Tom Tait’s minions are now trying to paint Pettibone as some kind of hero and attack the woman who had the nerve to ask Tait about Pettibone’s arrest.

Time for a reality check.

– Doug Pettibone was charged with four misdemeanor counts of battery, battery against a spouse, assault, and harassment in June 1998. Pettibone has not disputed this.

Doug Pettibone pled guilty to assault. He also pled guilty to “excessive noise.” Again, Pettibone has not disputed this. What he said in a comment on this blog is “the ‘assault’ case you claim I plead guilty to was actually dismissed by the district attorney “in the interests of justice.” After speaking with criminal defense lawyers, what this really means is the charge was subsequently dismissed in the interest of justice after successful completion of the sentence, paying the fees and the terms and conditions of a probationary period. Anyone can do that if the penal code permits it for that offense, complete the terms, have a minimal record, did not have any issues on probation and until their court date behaved themselves.

But Pettibone did commit an act that resulted in his being charged with assault, and to which he pled guilty.

Read Doug Pettibone’s withdrawal statement. He provides no explanation, detail or meaningful information of why he was charged with the above offenses. He only says:

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.

That’s it. Far from being “frank,” Pettibone refuses to say what happened or what he did.

What Did Tait Know, And Why Didn’t he Know It?
In his withdrawal statement, Pettibone claims he concealed this information from Tait. Tait told Lisa Lewis he was “unaware” of the charges stemming from a domestic violence incident.

There are two possibilities.

1. Tait knew, and chose to hide it from the voters. It is entirely possible, as we now see from Pettibone’s second response, that he believed the record would not show this. Pettibone told Tait the record was expunged and no one would ever find out. Tait went along with the cover up.

2. Tait didn’t know, in which case he didn’t do his homework and his judgment is called into question. How many times has he pontificated at Council meetings how closely he has studied the issues? And yet, he recruited Doug Pettibone and asked voters to elect him to the City Council without vetting him and checking his background? The sole rationale for Pettibone’s candidacy was that he’s endorsed by Tait.

A simple name search on the website would have turned up the charges against Pettibone and his guilty pleas: screenshot

It is incredible if this took the Tait campaign by surprise. Tait staked the full weight of his endorsement and his credibility as Mayor on Pettibone, but made no effort to find out the facts about him before urging him on the voters? Next time the Mayor claims to have arrive at a decision after digging into an issue, it will be hard to take him seriously.

Pettibone’s Credibility
Fact: Pettibone admits to concealing that he had been arrested on multiple charges stemming from a domestic incident, and even pleaded guilty to assault. He broke the law, and then kept it from the voters while he campaigned as the endorsed candidate of Mayor Transparency. How is that a qualification for office?

In a comment on, Pettibone dismissed all of this as “misinformation and these half-truths.” If that is the case, then why did he drop out of the race so quickly? And if “half-truths and misinformation” in a letter sent to the Mayor caused Pettibone to fold like a lawn chair, how was he going to “stand up to the special interests” as a member of the City Council?

Tait’s Minions Now Attacking Lisa Lewis
All Lisa Lewis did was send a letter to Mayor Tait bringing this information about Pettibone to his attention, asking him if he knew about it, and what he was going to do about it.

And for that, Tait minions Cynthia Ward and Greg Diamond are now going after Lisa Lewis! What Pettibone did doesn’t bother them, but it does bother them that someone brought it up. Lisa Lewis was trapped in an abusive marriage, asks about Pettibone’s trouble with the law stemming from a domestic incident, and she’s the bad guy? 

Liberals like Diamond condemned conservatives for going after Anita Hill, and now Diamond is doing just that to Ms. Lewis.

Cynthia Ward says Ms. Lewis has no credibility because she is a “partisan,” i.e. she supports Gail Eastman and Kris Murray for re-election. Incredibly, it escapes Ward that she is a hyper-partisan for Tom Tait, She accompanies him to campaign appearances, harasses his opponents, works hand-in-glove with Tait and his assistant: for example, she spent much of the recent council meeting on re-bonding the Convention Center expansion watching the meeting with Mishal Montgomery in the mayor’s office. That is questionable in itself since the group she is president of is suing the city to stop the Conention Center expansion.

Yet despite her hyperpartisanship, Ward demands that her every claim be treated as credible.

Ward is so morally disoriented that she thinks the person who pled guilty to assault and then concealed it from his supporters is the honorable one, and the person who asked about it is the dishonorable one. Her hypocrisy is so thick it’s a miracle she hasn’t suffocated from it.

Tait’s Silence
I should note that since his e-mail reply to Ms. Lewis promising to look into the Pettibone matter, Tait has not responded to what she asked in her letter, even though he has obviously looked into it.

In fact, Tait has said nothing at all. One half of his council candidate slate drops out when a past arrest comes to light, and Tait is silent. His attack dogs are going after a constituent for asking an inconvenient question, and he has nothing to say.

How many times have we heard Tom Tait talk about transparency and how there can never be enough of it? Isn’t this the time for transparency? Don’t voters deserve to know what Mayor Tait thinks about the withdrawal of the candidate he personally recruited to run? Doesn’t Mayor Tait owe voters an explanation of why he failed to vet Pettibone before asking them to entrust him with public office?


  1. Ward, Diamond and Verne will need to take a minute before trying to respond to this. I think they more than anyone should be asking how their great leader could let such a colossal err in judgment occur. It forces you to wonder what other terrible decisions he has made, what this has cost the taxpayers and how far will these three go to blindly support him?

  2. Not at all surprised to hear this news about Pettibone and the Mayor. In fact it seems to me that Mayor Tait picked the perfect candidate to help him beat up his female colleagues on the council. If you have a job to do get the right Tool.

  3. I was disappointed that Cynthia chose to call M’s. Lewis a bitch in all caps. Happy domestic violence awareness month in Anaheim. That wa a no class thing to say about any woman, Cynthia. Shame on you.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      I saw that. Cynthia is all class, isn’t she? She’s a walking, breathing repudiation of Tom Tait’s kindness campaign.

      Greg Diamond thought the information on the website must be a clerical error but now he has glommed onto Cynthia Ward’s belief that Tony Rackauckas suppressed the information about Pettibone’s arrest and guilty plea, witholding it from the public eye until he was ordered to restore them to the database a few days ago so it could be found by the search engine.

      These people are absolutely certifiable. When these kooks will believe THAT kind of lunacy rather than the reality staring them in the face, they have reached a paper-the-walls-with-tinfoil-so they-can’t-read-my-thoughts level of unreality.

      They should change CATER’s name to the 5150 Committee.

      • Those were classic comments from Cynthia. Cynthia is so invested in the Earth’s Greatest Researcher myth she’s created for herself that she can’t admit she screwed up and missed something so easy to find. She’d rather believe an insane theory about an elaborate scheme by the DA to keep information about Doug Pettibone secret for years and years until WHAMMO! he puts it online just before Lisa Lewis sends a letter to Tait.

        Just as scary is that the Taits LISTEN to this nutjob.

    • Dan, you’re assuming Cynthia Ward is capable of shame. She isn’t. She’s a mean, shameless hypocrite,

      • Whereas you, on the other hand, are so proud of your convictions that you’ll stand right up and OWN them … as “Anaheimster!”

        • Talk about people who live in glass houses. You were fine with pseudonymous blogging when Gus Ayers was blogging for you as “Mayor Quimby.” Suddenly it’s a problem.

          • You’re seriously going to offer the retort that Gus Ayers didn’t own his convictions?

            That’s a special kind of hubris. Well done, Matt.

            • Ryan, are you congenitally incapable of responding to what I actually said – rather than what you imagine I said?

              I retorted no such thing. Gus Ayers was a hard-core leftist, and he expressed those left-wing views and attacked people under the pen name of Mayor Quimby. Vern had no problem with that. But now, Vern has a problem with Anaheimster expressing his/her views under a pen name. By Vern’s standard, Gus/Mayor Quimby could not “own” his convictions any more than Anaheimster.

              The intellectually honest thing would be to recognize that Vern is being hypocritical.

  4. Anaheim Amateur Hour

    I am personally kind of amazed when I read Cynthia mention on one of the blogs that she did a search and couldn’t find anything.

    While I didn’t know the OCCourts website was still available to the public, as it was constantly referenced in blogs, OC Register Comments section and other media sites. I sort of believed she was a brilliant researcher.

    So with the reference above either I was grossly wrong about her talents.

    I remember the OC weekly story where she admitted her initial assessment of Kring was wrong and her initial thoughts of Mayor Tait was incorrect as well.

    It does seem that she makes horrible first assessment on candidates( strike one – She initially didn’t think highly of Mayor Tait, then changed after concluding she was wrong-strike Two- she thought highly of Lucille, then changed after concluding she was wrong strike Three- She thinks highly of Greg Diamond, when everybody, including those who have jobs, despise his obnoxious bloated arrogance and long winded conspiracy theories and she still is his closet associate. lastly, she is protecting someone who made a terrible mistake by attacking the person who informed the public.

    Those are foul balls, foul.

  5. Mayor Tait is not responsible for his colleagues behavior just as Mayor Pringle was not responsible for Richard Chavez getting arrested for protesting at the supermarket. But Cynrhia Ward should be arrested for making to much noise!

    • But Tait is responsible for who he personally endorses. He put his reputation as a leader and decision maker on the line and look how it has turned out. Some response from the mayor is warranted here.

  6. I think no response from the mayor displays sound judgment. When adversity occurs the best policy is always to hide away from it. Mayor Tom Tait is the leader Anaheim voters like me turn to!

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