Jeff Lalloway feels sucker punched tonight and his attacker wasn't the media or liberal Democrats who run Irvine, one of Orange County's two Democratic controlled cities.
Lalloway, a Republican candidate for the Irvine City Council, says a fellow Republican, retiring councilwoman Christina Shea, is trying to sabotage him because he's publicly exposed wild city spending that benefits Shea.
In a telephone interview, Lalloway says he believes that Shea attacked him because he questioned her acceptance of a whopping $715-a-month car allowance the city quietly granted city council members in 2006.
Lalloway, Shea's finance commissioner until she fired him today, claims Shea told him to keep his mouth shut about the perk because she didn't want it publicly ridiculed.
Lalloway (with a taller Chuck DeVore): Shea is hurting Republicans by attacking my candidacy.
"This [car allowance] is non-sense," he told me. "She's driving a BMW around town [that's taxpayer funded] and she asked me not to bring that up . . . She said, 'don't do that.'"
Lalloway told me he wasn't going to cooperate because, "I believe in honest, transparent government."
He also says that Shea was frustrated because he opposes her past support for additional "pay raises and pension increases" for city employees, including cops.
"I told her that this is not right," Lalloway recalled. "This is more non-sense. Government pensions are out of hand. She said, 'Well, this will blow over. I need their [government employee union] support . . . She's taken union money. I won't."
Shea recoiled at Lalloway's stance, telling me, "He's just so dishonest and he's trying to deflect that. The car allowance is old stuff and we all get it. Look, he missed many meetings as my finance commissioner and he sent out dishonest campaign mail claiming he was the only endorsed Republican Party candidate. That's not true. What does that tell you about him?"
An unimpressed Lalloway responded, "She sent her e-mail attacking me today to Larry Agran. Agran! She knows darn well that Agran's going to try to use all of this to damage me. What does that tell you about her?"
"I sent his firing e-mail to all city officials because that was the proper thing to do," Shea responded. "I'm just shocked by what Jeff is now saying. I would have never told him to keep quiet about anything. If I am so bad, why did he seek and use my endorsement? He's desperate. He's lying. He's not trustworthy. I wish I didn't have to say this but it's true."
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