PHOTOS SHOW OCDA OFFICE SPOKESPERSON ENGAGING IN POLITICAL ACTIVITY DURING WORK HOURS AND ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
OCDA Spokesperson Kimberly Edds Attended and Filmed Planned Parenthood’s Endorsement Announcement of Pete Hardin
ORANGE, CA – Today, as Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties announced their endorsement of former Marine Corps combat veteran, Judge Advocate, and Special Assistant United States Attorney, Pete Hardin, photos show OCDA Office spokeswoman Kimberly Edds filmed the event. California Government Code § 3207 enables counties to prohibit public employees from engaging in political activity during working hours or on the premises of the local agency. Government Code § 3204 explicitly prohibits anyone who holds an office, “or who is seeking election,” from “urging or discouraging [an] individual employee’s action,” raising questions as to whether Todd Spitzer illegally directed Ms. Edds to attend or film the event. The Orange County Board of Supervisors amended the ethics code to incorporate these provisions in 2016.
“Everyone should be encouraged to engage in political activity, but Todd Spitzer allowing it on the public’s dime is both a violation of the law and the public’s trust,” said former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin.
The photos were taken as Planned Parenthood announced their endorsement of Pete Hardin.
“Now more than ever, Orange County deserves a leader who will fight to protect women and we are proud to support former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Pete Hardin in the race for Orange County District Attorney,” said Sadaf Rahmani, Public Affairs Director of Planned Parenthood. “As a champion for reproductive rights including access to abortion, Hardin knows that when we have the ability to control our lives, we have the ability to follow our dreams and make meaningful contributions to society.”
“There has been an affront on women’s rights across the nation and Todd Spitzer has been the flag bearer for anti-women politics in Orange County,” said Ada Briceño, co-President of Unite Here! Local 11. “Current Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has a deeply troubling record that earned him a high score of 0% from the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. From voting against a women’s right to choose to voting against comprehensive sex education in our communities, Spitzer has failed to protect women. We deserve a District Attorney who will fight for women and I stand with Planned Parenthood in supporting Pete Hardin for Orange County District Attorney.”
“Todd Spitzer has not just failed to protect women, he has taken action to retaliate against women who courageously came forward about their abuse,” said Gwen McNallan, President of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club. “Spitzer is facing six lawsuits for enabling rampant sexual harassment in his office including one lawsuit alleging Spitzer knowingly promoted a perpetrator of sexual harassment to a senior staff position. Another lawsuit details Spitzer’s failure to protect a 16-year-old high school intern who was sexually harassed by a close friend of Spitzer, a close friend who was hired against the advice of Spitzer’s own senior staff. Spitzer was also removed from a high profile sexual assault case for his unethical treatment of survivors of sexual assault. Spitzer is a sad excuse for Orange County’s top law enforcement official.”
“I strongly support a woman’s right to choose and I am proud to stand with Planned Parenthood in protecting reproductive rights,” said former Marine Corps Judge Advocate Pete Hardin. “I look forward to working closely with Planned Parenthood and other women’s organizations to promote public safety for everyone in our communities.”
Current Orange County District Attorney Republican Todd Spitzer’s tenure has been defined by scandal. Most recently, Spitzer made racist remarks when discussing whether or not to seek the death penalty against a Black man. Four women in Spitzer’s office have filed claims asserting Spitzer promoted an employee and close friend despite having been made aware of the sexual harassment complaints against him. Spitzer later allowed the employee, who was the best man at his wedding, to retire with top flight benefits. Spitzer also attempted to drop sexual assault charges against high-profile defendants, leading a judge to remove him from the case. Survivors of the sexual assault survivors were “dragged through the mud” and “grossly mistreated” by Spitzer for two and a half years, leading two of them to abandon their case.
Spitzer has been involved in an evidence booking scandal, a jailhouse informant scandal, and has defamed a victim of OC’s deadliest mass shooting as retaliation for peaceful protest. Spitzer has also defended a DNA collection program known informally as “Spit and Acquit” that coerces defendants to give up their DNA to law enforcement, a practice the ACLU has called “unconstitutional.”
Pete Hardin is a former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and one of Southern California’s leading litigators running for Orange County District Attorney. Pete entered public service when, in 2005, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. A combat veteran, Pete served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a member of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Pete is a member of the Democratic Party.
Orange County’s rapidly changing electorate has led Democrats to now outnumber Republicans in Orange County holding a 4.1% voter registration advantage.