By STEVEN TAVARES
SUPERVISOR-DIST 2A supporter of District 2 Alameda County supervisor candidate Nadia Lockyer has accused former state senator Liz Figueroa, also a candidate, of misrepresenting her job title in a ballot statement to the county registrar, while another candidate for the seat is alleging the same of Lockyer.
Hayward City Councilman Kevin Dowling says in a statement released late Thursday afternoon, Lockyer’s ballot statement also misstates her job description. Lockyer lists her occupation as “county manager” for the Alameda County Family Justice Center. According to Dowling, no such description exist and says her actual title is “project director.”
“This is hypocritical beyond belief,” said Dowling, who quoted from Lockyer’s press release against Figueroa, “‘In this time of economic distress for Alameda County’s families, candidates should not be playing politics with voters by trying to portray themselves as something they are not.’ I completely agree, but I think Mrs. Lockyer should take her own advice.”
A day earlier, a supporter of Lockyer’s filed a lawsuit against the county registrar’s office alleging Figueroa’s description of “job developer/educator” is erroneous, when she is actually employed by the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, according to the suit in the Alameda County Superior Court. Figueroa’s campaign page on Facebook indicates the government appointment as her sole employer from January 2007 to present.
“The ballot statement is misleading because she is not a job developer,” said Katie Merrill, a spokesperson for the Lockyer campaign. “She’s paid $127,000 for going to meetings once a month. She doesn’t list that.” Merrill also called Figueroa’s part-time teaching assignment at U.C. Berkeley “specious” and characterized it as a two hour-a-week pass/fail course.
Figueroa told the Oakland Tribune today, “I’m outraged. It’s amazing to me people have the time and money to file these nuisance lawsuits. Right now the county is in a budget crisis, and someone goes and sues the registrar in a suit like this?”
Merrill says the filer of the lawsuit, Hayward Attorney Suizi Lin, is not affiliated with the Lockyer campaign, but has loose connections to Lockyer’s husband, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. Lin worked as an extern at the state attorney general’s office in Los Angeles during the time Lockyer held the office. Lockyer was also “of counsel” for a law firm for which Lin practiced. Lin told The Citizen, she was approached initially by the Lockyer campaign and agreed with the premise Figueroa had “blantantly” misrepresented her employment as a job developer to voters.
Politically, the suit is chance for the Lockyer campaign to ward off Figueroa’s attempt to attract voters who may be swayed by a candidate offering job relief to an area hit hard by unemployment. “With this economic downturn, everybody would love a candidate who could resurrect jobs in the area,” said Lin who added, “but she hasn’t had that occupation for years.” Figueroa told the Tribune she owned a job development consulting firm until 1994, but still performed duties in that career.
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