Placentia Mayor Jeremy Yamaguchi has received more positive press than any mayor of a small Orange County city ever should, namely because the 23-year-old was elected to the city council at age 19 four years ago, thus becoming one of the youngest-ever elected official in OC history, if not the youngest. Of course, after working that angle, the media doesn't actually bother with the real Yamaguchi: a young Republican, looking to climb up the local GOP ladder and onto greater things, leading a city where government corruption is as rampant as closeted homosexuals in the GOP ranks.
And if Yamaguchi can his girlfriend work the same path, why not? That was the explosive charge made by a longtime Placentia activist during the public comments of the July 17 Placentia City Council meeting.
In it, Placentia resident and property owner Ed Garcia accused Yamaguchi of violating city ethics guidelines by getting his “girlfriend” a seat on the city's Cultural Arts Commission in 2011. Garcia pulled the applications of the applicants and discovered that that chick applied for the slot on June 15, eight days after the window for those interested had closed.
“After investigating,” Garcia told the council, “I found through several sources that Mayor Yamaguchi insisted that the city staff accept this persons application with no questions asked, by order of Yamaguchi. And later to the city council to vote.”
Yamaguchi eventually cut off Garcia, claiming his allotted time was up, but council video shows Yamaguchi's face looking as if he had eaten one too many California burritos.
Garcia never named the girlfriend, but the commissioner was LeeAndrah Silva, whose day job is working as a field representative for reprehensible state assemblymember Allan Mansoor. Given Silva and Yamaguchi are so young in the dinosaur-filled OC GOP, you know their cheeks are rosy as hell in the below picture because of all those coffin dodgers pinching them.
City council minutes show Yamaguchi seconded the motion that put Silva's Cultural Arts Commission appointment before the city council, and voted on the unanimous motion on July 19, 2011, and that she was sworn in September 13. But were they going out by that point? I don't have any insight into their relationship, and I doubt they'd tell me when they became an item. But Facebook evidence (and that's all that matters in this modern world, right?) show Silva being lovey-dovey with Yamaguchi as his May 2011 graduation ceremony from Cal State Fullerton, meaning Garcia's charges are true at face value, and Yamaguchi did vote on his gal pal without disclosing it.
Is it unethical? Damn straight. Illegal? Hell, in this county, that probably means Yamaguch and Silva will get pins of honor from GOP head honcho Scott Baugh, and a gushing profile by Frank Mickadeit. But at least this little sordid episode has made me make sure to keep tabs on the two as they move up the ladder…