A supporter of Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray and Mayoral candidate Lucille Kring, named Lisa Burnett Lewis, did the unthinkable this week. She dredged up sealed court records and threatened Anahcim City Council candidate Doug Pettibone, in a scathing email message sent to the Anaheim City Clerk. The email was outed by the publisher of the LiberalOC blog, who has always supported mayoral challenger Lorri Galloway, in past Anaheim elections.
Pettibone apparently went through a bad divorce 16 years ago and he was charged with domestic battery but ultimately the charges were dismissed and the entire mess was supposedly sealed.
Pettibone is now friendly with his ex wife and she was supporting his City Council campaign.
The Orange Juice blog broke the story down in an in-depth post you can read here.
What I found very disgusting was the attempt by Lewis to take cover in the midst of her mud-slinging by referring to domestic violence yet what she did to Pettibone, his wife, his ex wife and his son is inexcusable. She aired dirty laundry that has only hurt a family that had long since moved past their previous rancor.
This reflects very poorly on Murray and Kring.
As one might expect the Pringle faction’s pet blogger, Matt Cunningham, weighed in on this matter – and of course he attacked Mayor Tom Tait, who had nothing to do with any of this.
This reminds me of what Cunningham did a few years ago when he got a hold of private legal documents about a number of kids who were molested by Catholic priests. Cunningham published the information and in the process outed the names of the molested children, as reported by the OC Weekly.
Here is Pettibone’s classy letter of withdrawal from the Anaheim City Council race:
Subject: Doug Pettibone’s Withdrawal as Candidate for Anaheim City Council
Dear Madam Clerk and City Candidates:
It is with regret that I have decided not be a candidate for Anaheim City Council in 2014 and that I withdraw as a candidate.
I chose to run for what I believed were the right reasons and I believe I am withdrawing for the right reasons.
As you know I love Anaheim having been a resident here since 1964 and I want to see Anaheim become the best city it can be. I wanted to be part of that process.
As many of you know I am not a career politician and I was not fully aware that my life would become the subject of public scrutiny to the level it appears to becoming perhaps for others political gain.
Sixteen (16) years ago I was involved in a custody dispute with my now ex-wife. Although this was a time of brokenness in my life, since that time we have lived in harmony together and along with my current wife Claire we have jointly raised a fantastic son through all our combined efforts.
My ex-wife has enthusiastically endorsed my current campaign for Anaheim City Council. She even signed my nomination papers and currently has a yard sign for my campaign in her front yard. She has also assisted with the campaign in other ways.
Last night, for the first time, it was brought to my attention that certain matters that occurred during this custody proceeding sixteen (16) years ago will become public and will be used against myself and perhaps even the Mayor to attack our candidacies.
Please allow me to be frank. I have done some things and said something involved in that custody dispute which I am not proud of but which did occur and which I take full responsibility for. For some reason I believed these records were private and perhaps I was overly hopeful that these issues were so far back in time that they would not or even could not be used against me. I never dreamed they could have been used against the Mayor. In fact I did not even believe these records were made available to the public. Had I known these issues, which occurred sixteen (16) years ago, could and would be used against me in this campaign I would have disclosed them to the Mayor upfront before he made the decision to endorse my candidacy. In fact, as I informed the Mayor today I was informed all the claims made against me involving those proceedings had not only been resolved and dismissed but were not available to the public. I recall even attempting to get the records myself on line and was unable to do so. This was another reason I did not tell The Mayor about these events.
It is not uncommon when someone goes through a custody/dissolution proceeding that they rededicate their lives to their faith. I did just that. It was a result of this renewed dedication of faith that my faith grew so strong I even later entered the ministry as a hospice chaplain and a compassion volunteer. I know of others who have experienced this renewal following times of trial and tribulations.
I believed it was this rededication that gave me compassion to be a leader of Anaheim along with my sense of justice as an attorney and my dedication to those in need. In the end, I believe the Mayor endorsed the man I am today and not the man I was sixteen (16) years ago.
Unfortunately, like some of us who did not align themselves to be a career politician I have a past I cannot shake although perhaps an argument could be made it has made me the person I am today.
I simply cannot allow all these old issues to be brought to the surface again and to be relitigated. To allow this to happen and for me to have to spend most, if not all of my energy on setting the record straight, while all the while knowing how these types of things can be used against me is something I must now come to terms with.
For those who brought the issue forward, I at least owe them the respect of allowing me to withdrawal gracefully when I am sure other more vicious means could have been used. For that I suppose I am grateful in many respects.
But in the end it is my family I am most concerned about and the potential effect this would have upon them when we all thought this was behind us. So I must try to mitigate that potential damage to them. Withdrawing seems to be the only option.
It was a difficult decision and one that I had to make rather fast so if it is at all possible I would request our family be allowed time to heal from this issue.
Doug and Claire Pettibone