Sun. May 26th, 2024

This week’s most shocking news was that Santa Ana Mayor Valerie Amezcua pushed perhaps the best City Manager Santa Ana ever had, Kristine Ridge, out the door – and she wasn’t nice about it. In fact Amezcua acted so crudely that Ridge threatened a lawsuit and got a huge severance check – over half a million dollars, on the way out.

Amezcua pushed out Ridge and also former SAPD Police Chief David Valentin, at the behest of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, SAPOA, the powerful police union in Santa Ana.

The role of the police labor union and Mayor Amezcua in the ouster of Ridge and Valentin was revealed in a legal claim submitted to the city by Ridge. In that claim, Ridge alleged that she experienced “discrimination, harassment, retaliation and [pressure] to take illegal action,” according to KnockLA.

Ridge alleged a hostile workplace created by Mayor Valerie Amezcua and paints a general picture of a pressure campaign by elected officials on behalf of the police union to get her to boost former union president Gerry Serrano’s pay and pension, according to the Voice of OC

Among other things, Ridge, who is non-Hispanic White, claimed Amezcua publicly mocked her because she could not speak Spanish, and suggested that her ethnicity rendered her unfit to hold a high-ranking post in the city. Ridge also said she was pressured to perform acts she considered illegal and beyond the scope of her role, according to the O.C. Register.

Getting rid of Ridge was a super bad idea given that the City of Santa Ana is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, primarily due to overly generous contracts with our police officers. The City is paying millions ever year as well to retired police officers, including lifetime health benefits. This is why we have so few police officers patrolling our city. We pay more for the retired officers than the ones currently in uniform!

Serrano was a real piece of work. He took on the job of running the police union not realizing he was screwing with his pension. Then he tried to force the City of Santa Ana to make up the shortfall – which was of his own making! Thankfully Ridge found a way to force him into retirement but Amezcua made sure to get rid of Ridge too.

It should be noted that Serrano engineered the ouster of two pro law enforcement Santa Ana City Council Members – and they were both ultimately replaced by Council Members Johnathan Ryan Hernandez and Ben Vazquez, who both frequently bash the police. Serrano succeeded in recalling Council Member Ceci Iglesias and he then ran a candidate against Council Member Juan Villegas, which split the vote and let Hernandez take the seat. Villegas worked in law enforcement himself for decades! But both Iglesias and Villegas drew Serrano’s ire when they refused to vote for a bloated police contract that now threatens to bankrupt our city.

The police union clearly owns Amezcua – and also a few of her colleagues. Check out how much the police union has donated to their campaigns in the past few years:

  • Valerie Amezcua ……… $217,850.91
  • David Peñaloza ….. $92,120.96
  • Nelida Mendoza …. $99,614.60
  • Phil Becerra ………. $88,849.41

This blog supported Amezcua when she ran for Mayor because we generally support law enforcement and hoped that she would, as a longtime member of the OC Probation Department, be a tough on crime Mayor. Little did we realize that she would also be a stooge for the police union!

Amezcua handily beat several male opponents for Mayor back in 2022, including Jose Solorio and Sal Tinajero. The latter would have been an anti-law enforcement disaster.

Amezcua will be on the ballot again this November. Let’s home someone less crass and more decent challenges her. Let’s also hope our City Council does not resort once more to hiring lame City Managers whose only qualification is being Latinos.

By Editor

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

8 thoughts on “Santa Ana Mayor Valerie Amezcua’s crass behavior pushed the City Manager out the door”
  1. How disappointing. Looks like Mexican Karen is going on a power trip! You would think being a woman would mean that she would be good at budgeting and not waste the city’s falling revenues with harassment lawsuits, recalls, and perpetual raises and benefits for her buddies. Somebody needs to bring back Ridge. She was good at her job and had a backbone. Amezcua’s legacy is going to be that she bankrupt Santa Ana.

  2. Thank you for keeping this pinned to the top of the blog. It’s very important for a democracy to have informed citizens that are aware of the deplorable and corrupt leadership that usually goes unnoticed. Great job on this blog! One of the few news sources that isn’t an echo chamber for either political party!

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