Guest Commentary: Gloria Partida Responds to Allegations by Alan Pryor and Others

By Gloria Partida

There has been discussion on social media over the past week concerning whether I was truthful in answering a question that was asked by an audience member during a candidate forum sponsored by Yolo People Power on September 26, 2022. I was asked whether I had ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.

I responded by giving examples of police encounters I had had while driving. I also affirmed in my response that I had the experience of being arrested.

Have I ever been convicted of a crime? Yes. Do I currently have a conviction? No.

Answering this question in a way that doesn’t create misunderstanding, takes more than the brief response time allowed in the forum. Moreover, I have received legal advice that I am under no obligation to disclose this prior conviction, given that it was reduced to a misdemeanor and set aside.

The events around this occurred in 1996, and resulted in charges being filed against me. The details of this incident involve my extended family and the circumstances are deeply personal and painful. The bottom line is that I followed all legally authorized processes to resolve the matter, including what was needed to obtain court orders to render the incident a misdemeanor for all purposes and obtain an expungement of my record. When I filed for a new term on the City Council and declared that I met the eligibility criteria, I did so in good faith and in accordance with the law. I have been assured by my legal counsel and the District Attorney’s office that my response was in full compliance with the law.

In response to Alan Pryor’s statements regarding my background, I do not have a criminal conviction. I did have a prior conviction from 22 years ago. That conviction was dismissed and set aside by the Yolo County Superior Court in 2005, based on my “continued law-abiding lifestyle, education and involvement in family and community.”  Simple fact: I do not currently have a conviction.

Seventeen years ago, my court case file should have been updated to correctly show a “dismissal” of the charges. I learned only recently that, due to a record-keeping error, the Court website was not properly updated to show this dismissal until I notified them several days ago that the court website contained incorrect information. Contrary to Mr. Pryor’s assertion that the court website was “scrubbed” the Court Clerk’s Office acknowledged that the website had not been properly updated.  The Court Clerk then sealed the record, as required by Senate Bill 731, which took effect on July 1 of this year. No scrubbing involved, just compliance with applicable legal requirements.

I did not have any legal obligation to disclose this when I filed my papers for candidacy.  At that point, I was asked if I had a felony conviction, and I did not have one. The prior conviction had by then been reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed. You have a right to hold me to a high standard, and my sincere hope in sharing this information with you is that you will take into account my long history of commitment to our community. I sincerely hope that all of my work in the community will allow you to put this issue into the proper context.

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4 Comments

  1. Alan Pryor

    To be clear, I do not question Ms. Partida’s character or values. I know she deeply cares about the poor, the disabled, the LGBT community and the disenfranchised and has worked tirelessly for many years on their behalf. My article had nothing to do with any of that and the issue of her character and values was not raised nor disparaged anywhere in any way in the article.
    This article to which Ms. Partida is responding was simply a factual representation of the law as it currently exists on the books and as it pertains to her ability to continue to serve on the City Council in light of that current law.The facts speak for themselves.

    1. Ron Glick

      No Alan, its a set up and hit piece timed to perfectly coincide with the arrival of mail in ballots. Someone just happened to ask about this at a public forum. You are simply disclosing what you found just as ballots come out. So many coincidences so little time. Attacking her character is exactly what you are doing.
      As one of my students once said “I’m as innocent as O.J.”
      Apparently the Yolo DA sent this to the Sac DA who determined there is nothing there. If you bothered to read David’s critique you would stand down instead of doubling down but that is not the point. The point is to try to damage Partida and impugn her character before the voters.
      As I said above, sleazy. I doubled down too.
      Full disclosure, I sent $150 to Gloria’s campaign.

  2. Richard_McCann

    David

    You should have followed up with Partida after seeing Pryor’s submission with an opportunity to directly comment on the article. She would have identified the error in the Yolo County court records and you could have rejected the submission as being incomplete or asked for a rewrite. (And see my comment on Alan’s article about Ben Bradlee’s scrutiny.) Using best practices is the means of protecting the legitimacy of journalism.

  3. Ann Block

    Yes, Alan, the facts DO speak for themselves.  Your own screenshot indicates the conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor in 2005 – how did you “forget” to notice that?  I hope it was not intentional. A motion was granted BOTH to reduce the 20 year old conviction to a misdemeanor pursuant to Calif. P.C. 17(b)(3), as noted above, AND to allow withdrawal of the prior plea and dismissal. So clearly Gloria answered the question correctly and is and was always eligible to serve on the City Council. The vitriol and false allegations of the “No on H” campaign has gotten completely out of control.

    As to the 20 year old prior conviction itself, this county (Yolo) under the current D.A. and his mentor and predecessor, has long charged as felonies what neighboring Solano and Sacramento normally charge as misdemeanors.  In addition, “welfare fraud” cases, are often unfortunately brought against obviously low-income people unable to hire a fancy, unlimited time, expensive defense attorney — for misunderstandings and miscommunications often caused by their benefits caseworker. And public defenders usually believe there is “no defense” in these cases – benefits were overpaid, so they think its cut and dried. (I advise public defenders on pleading every day as part of my job, and hear this all the time). But that is far from the reality, and I am presently in the process of collaborating on a practice advisory targeted to public defenders, with a Legal Aid attorney who is expert in these matters, to help public defenders understand there are often quite strong defenses in these cases where there was no intent to commit fraud.

    I myself have recently had a client so charged with the exact same “felony” – who I had actually pushed to apply for benefits due to her lupus diagnosis, inability to work and having the need to support two young children.  She was charged due to an asset she didn’t realize she needed to disclose, that she could not sell, and that she was not asked about. The conservative D.A. (in another northern Calif. county) charged her, nevertheless, when the county reported what they thought was an overpayment, despite the fact that she immediately began making restitution.  It took FOUR attorneys that I recruited — including myself, a private pro bono criminal defense attorney and two Legal Aid attorneys (one of which is the expert in mischarged “welfare fraud” cases), plus another asset expert, to overcome these charges, including appealing the denial of ongoing benefits.  She ultimately won on all counts, the benefits were restored, her restitution reimbursed, the D.A. dropped the charges, but nothing compensated for the shame and embarrassment she experienced in the process. Most are not so lucky, and just plead out and pay back the benefits, in order to avoid the worst consequences of a jail sentence, to protect family members or similar reasons. Obviously this old matter was very painful for Gloria, involved family issues, and had she been able to afford counsel that had the time to investigate what happened and vigorously defend her, she may well not have ended up with any conviction at all, not even a misdemeanor.

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