Saturday, July 06, 2019

Tony Cárdenas Case Is Closed... But Is He Innocent?


Where's Gillibrand when we really need her?

Tony Cárdenas represents much of Los Angeles' suburban San Fernando Valley in Congress. He's always been a shady character and it wasn't hard to imagine that he was guilty as charged. The last time I mentioned the rape charges it was in March and tangential to the unresolved case:
The Chicago Sun Times mentioned yesterday that they were surprised Chuy Garcia wasn't up on the stage at the big Bernie rally on Navy Pier. Chuy, who Bernie endorsed for mayor against Rahm Emanuel and then helped win his congressional seat, is one of the progressives who hasn't endorsed him. What we're hearing from fairly good sources is that after Pelosi (and Kevin McCarthy) decided to bury the credible molestation charges of a minor against Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)-- a pretty shady Democrat to begin with-- Pelosi owns Cárdenas. He drugged and molested Angela Villela Chavez when she was 16 and threatened to fire her father if she ever told. He's Mr. Money-Bags in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' Bold PAC and Pelosi, according to two sources, told him to keep his members from endorsing Bernie. I can't believe (literally can't) the stories going around about the threats-- from Pelosi-- that Cárdenas is using. It just doesn't sound like her; it sounds like him. But, maybe that's what she wanted. Welcome to the sausage factory.
Wednesday, the L.A. Times reported that the Cárdenas case has been resolved-- in his favor. It still stinks to high heaven and doesn't sound like he's absolved at all, except technically. The law suit by his victim has been dropped, although no one is quite sure why. Times reporter David Zahniser:
The sexual assault case filed against U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas collapsed on Wednesday, with the congressman’s accuser dropping her lawsuit and saying she regretted hiring her attorney to represent her in the proceedings.

Angela Villela Chavez, who had accused Cárdenas of molesting her when she was 16, agreed in court to have her lawsuit dismissed with prejudice, a move that will prevent her from refiling the case.

Lawyers for the congressman said after the hearing that they had achieved “total vindication” for their client. Cárdenas, in turn, welcomed the resolution of the case, saying “the truth prevailed.”

“I humbly thank my family, community, and constituents who know I am a person of integrity," he said in a statement.

It was an abrupt end to an incendiary case that, according to Chavez, was inspired in part by the #MeToo movement, which has surfaced incidents of sexual harassment and abuse by celebrities and politicians.

The two sides reached their agreement two months after Chavez’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, said her firm needed to drop out of the case for unspecified reasons. Chavez, now 28, told The Times after Wednesday’s hearing that she never would have come forward with her allegations without her lawyer’s “confidence and backing.”

“I regret my decision in choosing her as my attorney,” said Chavez, who now lives in Lancaster.

Lawyers for Cárdenas, who represents much of the San Fernando Valley, said the agreement between the two sides was a resolution, not a settlement. As part of the deal, Cárdenas will not pay Chavez any money but also will not sue her for malicious prosecution, they said.

...Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield dismissed the case with prejudice and relieved Bloom from serving as Chavez’s attorney.

Asked about the statement from her client, Bloom said she was forced to withdraw for “ethical reasons, which the judge recognized.”

“Ms. Chavez has been through a very tough experience and I wish her all the best,” Bloom said in an email.

Chavez had alleged in her lawsuit that Cárdenas had molested her in 2007, when she was a rising junior golf star, after she collapsed at a country club in Cheviot Hills. She said the incident occurred while Cardenas, then a councilman, was driving her to a hospital.

Chavez also claimed that Cárdenas had given her ice water with a peculiar taste shortly before she collapsed.

Cárdenas, one of the highest-ranking Latino members of Congress, vigorously denied the allegations. Glaser described his accuser as the daughter of a disgruntled ex-employee and said she expected her client to be fully exonerated.

Chavez filed her case in April 2018. Although she was initially identified as a Jane Doe, she later revealed her identity, saying she had been inspired by Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

After the lawsuit was filed, no one else stepped forward with similar allegations against Cárdenas, who took office in 2013. He largely weathered the controversy, unlike several other politicians accused of sexual misconduct.

...Despite calls for Cardenas to resign, from Los Angeles school board member Kelly Gonez and a handful of activists, he easily won reelection last year.

The first major sign of trouble for Chavez’s case came in May, when at least one of her lawyers left Bloom’s firm. Later, Bloom revealed that she wanted the judge to release her from the case.

Bloom declined to reveal the precise reason for her request, saying only that such a move was required under the State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Weeks later, Chavez told a judge she opposed Bloom’s effort to drop her as a client.

The State Bar’s conduct rules offer a handful of scenarios in which lawyers must end their representation of a client.

For example, attorneys must stop representing a client if they conclude that the client is bringing an action that is “without probable cause” and is being pursued “for the purpose of harassing or maliciously injuring any person.”

Lawyers also must withdraw if they know, or reasonably should know, that their representation would violate State Bar rules. In addition, lawyers must end their relationship with a client if they are not physically or mentally well enough to continue providing effective representation.

When Wednesday’s court hearing began, Bloom noted that a Times reporter was in the courtroom and asked for the parties in the case to speak privately in the judge’s chambers. After roughly 10 minutes, they emerged and began trying to track down the congressman.

Eventually, the judge got Cárdenas on speakerphone and asked him if he agreed with the terms of the proposal for resolving the case. Cárdenas said he did. The judge then agreed to release Bloom as Chavez’s attorney.
Cárdenas is a New Dem who sits on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Health subcommittee. He takes massive, legalistic bribes from the industries the committee oversees. He's collected $705,438 from the health sector, for example. He's being primaried by progressive Democrat Angelica Dueñas this cycle.



At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why does the story about Pelosi bribing the meskin caucus not to endorse Bernie surprise you?
How do you think that piece of shit gets all those democraps to never, ever *DO* anything she forbids?

You just wake up from a 40 year coma?

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there no crime Pelosi won't aid and abet? I'm glad I sent a contribution to her last primary opponent even if he did lose. I'll start saving to donate to the next challenger.

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't fucking waste your money on any democrap. look at the Greens or the Socialists.

democraps are never, EVER going to do shit about anything. follow the money!


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