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EXCLUSIVE: Fullerton Asm. Quirk-Silva Under Investigation for Influence Peddling and Retaliation Against Accuser of Asm. Cristina Garcia

Sharon Quirk-Silva

BY BRIAN HEWS
Monday September 24, 2018, 4:39 p.m.

Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News has exclusively learned that the California State Assembly investigation involving groping allegations against Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia leveled by Cerritos resident Daniel Fierro has morphed into a wide-ranging political influence and retaliation investigation revolving around Garcia, 65th District Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), and her husband, Fullerton Council Member Jesus Silva.

 

Jesus Silva

According to high level sources, Garcia, Quirk-Silva, and her husband have operated a veiled operation to put Fierro out of business by using their political power and influence to steer public relations contracts away from Fierro and his company, Presidio Strategic Communications.

Influence campaigns of this type have severe penalties including censure, removal from office, permanent disqualification from holding any state position, restitution, prison, and fines up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The operation against Fierro is in response to his complaint that Garcia sexually assaulted him at a softball game in 2014. His allegations were first reported in February by Politico.

That complaint resulted in an investigation of Garcia but could not “substantiate” the Fierro allegations, with some observers calling the investigation flawed.

The investigation did find that Garcia violated the Assembly’s sexual harassment policy by “commonly and pervasively” using vulgar language in talking to her staff and disparaging other elected officials. Garcia once called former Speaker John Perez, who is openly gay, a “homo.”

Fierro appealed the finding, the investigation was reopened and is active, with investigators interviewing multiple witnesses in the Los Angeles and Sacramento areas in the last several weeks.

Sources close to the investigation confirmed its existence and substance, insisting on anonymity out of concern that Garcia and Quirk-Silva would retaliate against them.

At issue is Quirk-Silva’s attempts to pressure a client of Fierro, a local Orange County businessman who is politically connected and who wished to remain anonymous, to fire Fierro and his firm.

According to the sources, Jesus Silva called the businessman first to pressure him to fire Fierro.

Quirk-Silva then followed up with a meeting with the businessman to talk about “issues” in the district.

During the meeting, Quirk-Silva echoed her husband’s statements and made it clear to the businessman that he should fire Fierro because of his sexual harassment and groping allegations against Garcia.

The reportedly shocked businessman was then told that “not doing so might result in her [Garcia’s] political disfavor.”

Although the sources could not confirm how the Assembly became aware of the Quirk-Silva accusation, they did confirm that Assembly’s contracted investigator expanded the scope of the ongoing investigation of Fierro’s claim against Garcia to include Quirk-Silva’s alleged retaliation.

Amy Oppenheimer

HMG-LCCN talked with sources who have been interviewed by the Assembly investigator and confirmed that Amy Oppenheimer is the investigator and that she is asking “wide ranging questions.”

HMG-LCCN contacted Quirk-Silva for comment on the allegations and received a phone call back from spokesperson Matt Reilly who said, “the Assemblywoman categorically denies the allegations.”

When asked about the investigation Reilly said, “you will have to call the Assembly Rules Committee to inquire about that.”

HMG-LCCN contacted Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office and sent a text message for comment with no response as of publication time.

HMG-LCCN contacted Garcia via a text message for comment with no response as of publication time.

Mike Simpfenderfer, who is running against Garcia in November, told HMG-LCCN, “How much more abuse by Cristina Garcia is acceptable? All who believe victims have a right speak up and are entitled to justice find this behavior criminal. The retaliation against Danny Fierro by ASM Garcia and friends demands immediate action.  Mr. Speaker it is time to take measures so Mr. Fierro is protected during the investigation. It is the people’s duty to protect Mr. Fierro when it is discovered these illegal activities against him exist. The silencing of a victim during an investigation reflects the behaviors of the mob. We have to trust and believe your office will demand an immediate swift investigation by law enforcement and if need be have those intimidating Mr. Fierro arrested.”

 

 

 

 

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