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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 OCCourts.org website would have turned up the charges against Pettibone and his guilty pleas:

OCCourts.org 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 TheLiberalOC.com, 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?