James Lomako Contends Pasadena Should Halt March 10 Election
City Responds That It Has “No obligation to publicly disclose embezzlement info…”
By Terry Miller
James Lomako is asking the US District Court Judge Beverly Reid-O’Connell to keep the City from certifying the official election results tallied on March 10, 2015 for District 2, District 4 and District 6 until his attorney, Philip Kobel, has a chance to fight out the case that those three elections are “unconstitutional” and need to be re-opened for candidacy. In a 100-page court filing Tuesday, March 3, Kobel served the city with the Ex Parte TRO [Temporary Restraining Order].
However, attorneys for the City of Pasadena responded with a legal answer March 4, saying the city had no legal obligation to release information about an ongoing criminal investigation, which was kept private until the accused parties were arrested for an alleged $6.4 million embezzlement scheme Dec. 30, 2014.
Plaintiff Lomako’s Attorney Kobel told Beacon Media in an email: “If the results are certified, then right or wrong, the three M’s (McAustin, Masuda and Madison) will be officially re-elected and the only possible way to remove them before their terms are up in four years would be through recall.
“Our case doesn’t necessarily require that the three M’s have done anything wrong. In theory, I guess it is possible that no one did anything wrong for our case to succeed.
“It might just be an accident that the public was not informed in time for the election. But even if it was an accident – which seems unlikely – the people’s constitutional rights to petition their government for redress and to have fair elections may have been violated.”
City officials claim they did not release information about the alleged embezzlement prior to Dec. 30 because the District Attorney’s Office was conducting a criminal investigation and the DA requested they keep the information confidential.
Kobel said that in the city’s response, they assert (for the first time) that the KPMG Audit “was (and is) part of the District Attorney’s investigation.”
The City of Pasadena also asserts that the TRO is not necessary because election results can be invalidated by a court if wrong-doing is found later.
In closing, Mr Kobel said, “ … in our opinion, the party is over if the results are finalized. Remember Gore v. Bush anyone?”