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By Brian Hews
Hews Media Group-Community News has confirmed that a paternity lawsuit has been filed by Maribel Zavala against former Mayor and current Downey City Councilmember Luis Marquez and that Marquez, along with his wife Alma, who is running for Downey City Council, attempted to use his elected office to coerce Maribel into withholding the publicity of the lawsuit until after the election.
The lawsuit, filed at the Norwalk Court, is sealed but HMG-CN was able to obtain the case number, VF014650 and the attorney of record for Zavala, Sandy Garcia of Garcia-Miller law based out of Montclair.
A paternity lawsuit is a legal proceeding that asks a court to determine whether a man is the biological father of a child. Paternity lawsuits are usually filed by a woman attempting to legally establish that a man is the biological father of her child.
Most paternity suits are filed to establish financial or moral responsibility or to settle other issues in controversy between the parents.
People familiar with Marquez have seen him with the baby at the Whittier Police Department and at the Downey Police Department in “paternity related proceedings.”
Sources have told HMG-CN that after Marquez and his wife Alma discovered the lawsuit had been filed, the two demanded a meeting with Zavala, which she granted based on her relationship with Luis.
But it was not a pleasant meeting according to sources close to Zavala.
The three reportedly met at the Denny’s in Downey where Zavala described the meeting as “a shakedown attempt to stop me from publicizing the lawsuit before the election in November.”
Zavala told the source that Luis and Alma asked her, “to be quiet, do not say anything. We want to get Alma elected, if she is elected then Luis can get more government contracts and take care of you.”
An angry Zavala told the source she was ready to call a press conference after the meeting.
Marquez could be in legal hot water with the L.A. District Attorney because of the meeting.
Using a political office to influence a person and/or a decision is a felony violation of several government codes punishable by up to four years in prison.
But this is not the first time Marquez has used his office to influence decisions.
7-Eleven wanted to open a store in Bellflower but Marquez testified in front of Bellflower City Council at a public hearing saying it would be detrimental if the popular local store opened in the area.
Later on it was revealed that Marquez was representing a liquor store that would have been across the street and suffered loss of business if the 7-Eleven opened.
Calls into Marquez, Zavala and her attorney were not returned.
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