Voice of OC’s Adam Elmahrek has broken another story of questionable real estate transactions by Santa Ana’s Mayor Miguel Pulido. It appears that Mayor Pulido was the beneficiary of a land swap with a city contractor, for which he profited about $197,000. The contractor was subsequently awarded a no-bid contract worth almost $500,000 annually. This seems to be a rather hefty success fee, for a contract approved unanimously by the City Council.
From the Voice of OC story:
Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido voted for a $1.35-million no-bid city contract with a local auto parts firm just over a year after he and members of his family purchased a home from the store owner for $230,000 less than its fair market value, according to public records.
Pulido did not disclose the purchase of the Westminster home — which was part of a real estate swap between the Pulidos and Rupen James Akoubian, president of NAPA Orange County Auto Parts — before casting his vote on the company’s contract in December 2011.
Nor did he report the home on his statements of economic interest, known as Form 700s, that are required by state law.
In exchange for the home, Pulido sold Akoubian a lot that is attached to the back of NAPA Orange County Auto Parts, which is located on First Street in Santa Ana, just a block from the Pulido family’s auto care shop. Both transactions were for $200,000.
Good government experts consulted by Voice of OC have suggested that the transactions could amount to illegal gifts, and possibly amount to bribes, provided that certain circumstances related to the transactions are proven. What is abundantly clear from the story is that Mayor Pulido, at a minimum, failed to report his economic interests in the properties in question as required by law.
Click here for the Voice of OC story.