Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Orange County Supervisor Viicente Sarmiento’s sister, Vicki I. Sarmiento, has passed away from a pulmonary embolism that was the result of a surgery after a fall, according to the Daily Journal. She was 65-years-old.

Vicki I. Sarmiento was, like her brother, an attorney. Her specialty was suing police departments in cases involving alleged racial profiling and alleged law enforcement brutality. She was in fact one of two lawyers representing the family of Brandon Lopez, a criminal who was fatally shot by Anaheim police officers after a long standoff in Santa Ana when he rushed out of his car at the officers while holding an object the officers thought was a gun.

The Lopez family’s remaining lawyer is Sarmiento’s husband, Dale Galipo, who also specializes in suing police departments. His website brags about the millions he has won suing police departments.

Sarmiento will be interred at Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary. They published her obituary, which summarized her life thusly:

Vicki I. Sarmiento was born in La Paz, Bolivia on October 27, 1958. Her parents, Vicente and Irma, and her siblings, Daisy and Vince, arrived in the United States in July of 1965, when Vicki was six (6) years old. She grew up on Eastwood Avenue in Santa Ana, California, and attended John Muir Elementary, Lathrop Intermediate, and Santa Ana High School. Her modest home was always filled with extended family and was considered the epicenter of a growing Bolivian immigrant community. Santa Ana, even back then, was a tough place to grow up, but Vicki found refuge in reading, studying, and excelling in school. At the age of fifteen (15), her life’s purpose would change when she started working after school at the Law Offices of Milton C. Grimes. There, Vicki found her love of the law, but more importantly, she met her life-long mentors, Milton and Eloise Grimes. Vicki was married twice. She was widowed from her first husband Antranik Geuvjehizian and is survived by her second husband, Dale Galipo.

Following her graduation from Santa Ana High School, Vicki attended U.C. Irvine where she received her B.S. in Social Science and a B.A. in Spanish Literature. She spent two (2) years in Spain, studying in Madrid and Barcelona, where she discovered her love for traveling. Thereafter, she attended UC College of Law San Francisco (formerly Hastings College of Law) where she earned her juris doctor degree. At UC Irvine, Vicki was a founding member of “Mujeres Latinas” where she organized for the rights of minorities and women. At Hastings, she served as President of La Raza Law Students Association, an organization focused on the recruitment of Latino law students and their involvement in community work for the indigent in the San Francisco area. She was a devoted and disciplined student who coordinated study groups and supported her fellow peers with reassurance when the rigors and demands of law school became overwhelming.

After her admission to the State Bar of California in 1988, Vicki began working for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, prosecuting cases on behalf of the city, and gaining extensive trial experience. In 1991, she started her own practice, representing clients in personal injury and civil rights cases, her true calling. As a civil rights attorney, she specialized in injury and wrongful death cases arising from police brutality, excessive force, in-custody deaths, denial of medical care to inmates, assaults and sexual abuse of minors in juvenile detention facilities, wrongful convictions, and racial profiling.

Sarmiento spent her entire adult life suing cities and police departments and obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

The Sarmiento family will be hosting services for her on March 20 and 21 at Fairhaven Memorial Park, a “Visitation/Rosary” and a mass at Christ Cathedral and a “Celebration of Life” at the Bowers Museum. Click here to RSVP. The mass will be held on Thursday, March 21, at 3 p.m., at Christ Cathedral, per Facebook.



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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