Westminster, CA —Â “Andy uses a phrase every politician who gets caught red-handed uses, ‘I take full responsibility.'” commented Westminster resident Mike Hicks about councilman Andy Quach’s recent accident during the public commenting period at Wednesday’s Westminster City Council meeting.
Hicks opened his remarks with a tough judgement of Quach, “It’s the profile of a driver that kills people…he drives fast and he drives drunk, allegedly…the realistic side of me calls it suspicious when the officer doesn’t show up in court after (Andy was) driving over 100 mph. You would think the officer would be there.”
Other commenters were less harsh, stating that they were happy that no one was hurt while expressing their disappointment in the councilman.
Westminster resident, Tuan Nguyen asked the city to post requirements to hold a recall of Quach, while urging the embattled councilman to resign so the people don’t have to put the city through the expense of holding a recall election. He railed against city personnel for not knowing or explaining to callers how many signatures were required to put a recall on the ballot.
Nguyen also asked that the full transcripts of what happened between the police and Assemblyman Van Tran be posted online so that the “voters will know what their representatives have done.”
Hung Nguyen echoed Quach’s self-comparison to Ted Kennedy’s tragic 1969 Chappaquiddick accident. There were some quiet giggles in the back of the room at the comparison.
Frequent city council meeting attendee, Darrell Nolta began his comments with a harangue about having items taken out of the regular order of the agenda, placing them at the beginning of the meeting, thus preventing public comment, before launching into one of his pet complaints against the city, alcohol licensing requirements. He claimed that the city has actually changed the way liquor licenses are granted because he has raised such a stink. Nolta called upon the city to launch more than an ABC investigation to discover why the Westcoast Seafood Buffet restaurant where Andy had been drinking was serving whiskey and to investigate Van Tran’s actions during that evening. He stated that he felt that the restaurant is responsible for allowing Quach to leave the restaurant and drive away when he was obviously over the limit.
“I’m very disappointed. The restaurants where you were drinking are not babysitters. YOU are responsible for your own actions. Had this been an Hispanic, I guarantee you wouldn’t be here. I will support a recall of Andy Quach,” stated former court employee and Westminster resident Aida Koless.
These comments followed what should have been a meeting highlighted by a proclamation recognizing the last Saturday of every April as, “Vietnamese Boat People Day” in the city of Westminister. Sadly, the QuachGate controversy overshadowed the important milestone in city politics.
Quach’s own apology, though he claimed to fully acknowledge the level of disappointment and frustration of the city’s residents, oddly compared his potential political career to that of Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush who had notable drinking and driving issues early in their careers. Several people I spoke to were incredulous that the councilman would make a statement that made it sound like he would move onward and upward politically after this incident. Others accepted his apology on face value.
One resident offered a rebuttal to Quach’s Kennedy/Bush comparison by stating thatÂ she’dÂ like to remind you (Quach)Â of all the politicians who have failed after such an incident, but that it would be rude to name them all.Â One person sitting near meÂ took issue with his statement that he would go on to be the best person he can be, commenting that it was the height of arrogance that he would say that he’d be ok because of the accident without openly offering restitution for what he’s done.
One comment I missed writing down was caught by Bolsavik. The last person to speak was Quach’s own lawyer…as if we wouldn’t figure it out! You can read more about it here.