I spoke with Councilman Vincent Sarmiento earlier this afternoon after receiving his cell phone number. He admitted he spent the morning trying to get a hold of mine as well, which he did. He was eager to explain his side of the story and answer the allegations made by Alex Vega.
He stated that the Vegaâ€™s accusations are false and he has no clue as to why Vega would make up such a lie. He did admit that Vega approached him regarding his grievance with Amezcua. The Councilman sought to talk Vega out of going to the media with this kind of an issue and informed Vega there was a proper system to go through if he had a grievance, the California Bar Association and that Vega should use the proper system, not engage in character assassination nor make his grievance a political issue.Â
Sarmiento clarified that as a fellow member of the bar with Amezcua, it would be irresponsible and unethical for any attorney to try and ruin a fellow attorneyâ€™s career over a political race. Sarmiento admitted he does his best to keep Alex Vega at arms length Sarmiento went on to even shoot down some of Vegaâ€™s assertions of getting a powerful law firm to take a class action lawsuit.
Sarmiento said NO LAW FIRM, powerful or otherwise would take a case regarding attorney misconduct because the court has no jurisdiction over attorney misconduct, that is always handled by the California Bar Association. In other words, he clarified, there is no way to file a class action lawsuit against Amezcua. Sarmiento said any knowledgeable attorney should know this, so if there was ANY attorney giving Vega this advice, they are being irresponsible.
As far as the Mayorâ€™s race goes, Sarmiento stated he is backing Mayor Pulido for re-election because he believes Pulido to be the better person for the job. He stated it was a tough decision to make since he considers both Pulido and Amezcua to be friends and stated he wishes he did not have to choose between the two.
He asked to be notified if there were any similar allegations in the future and stated that any calls to him would be returned as quickly as possible in the future. He mentioned he is interested in following future Santa Ana related stories for the Liberal OC in the future and then invited myself and The Liberal OC to be his personal guest at two upcoming community events.
He went on to say that this Saturday there will be a dedication for new playground equipment for the Lyon Manor neighborhood, which is in his ward. He mentioned what a truly needy and working class area that is and working with some non-profits, he helped get a new playground for this area where there are many children who had no place to play. The second event is Tuesday March 16th, it is the groundbreaking for the new YMCA near Segerstrom High School. Sarmiento mentioned that it is a joint venture with the YMCA, the SAUSD and the City of Santa Ana to provide more activities for Santa Anaâ€™s youth. I told him that I would be at one if not both of these events. I thanked him for the invitation.
This definitely now leaves more questions to be asked particularly to Alex Vega. The two stories definitely are very different. So Alex, care to give your explanation as to why you said Vince Sarmiento was so involved? Care to put forward your real motives? This is definitely far from over.