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Lawsuit Claims State Sen. Walters Doesn't Live in Own District

Democrat claims Republican Mimi Walters' Irvine apartment is a charade to keep her seat after redistricting. Her staff calls the suit "frivolous."

The Democratic opponent of Republican state Sen. Mimi Walters in the November election filed a lawsuit Thursday in Sacramento County Superior Court alleging she does not live in the district she represents.

Attorney Steve Young alleges in his "petition for mandate" that Walters pretends to reside in a small Irvine apartment, but actually still lives in her Laguna Niguel mansion, which fell outside the 37th Senate district after redistricting. The reconfigured 37th district also includes Newport Beach, Lake Forest and Laguna Beach.

A spokesman for Walters' campaign called the lawsuit "frivolous."

"It's without merit," said Dave Gilliard. "There's no facts behind it. This is what happens when your political opponent also happens to be a trial lawyer."

Walters registered to vote at the Irvine residence earlier this year, Gilliard said. "She's legally a resident of Irvine and that's what the law requires."

Young said Walters must principally live in the Irvine residence and cited various clues that she doesn't.

For instance, Walters' husband hasn't changed his voter registration from Laguna Niguel, Young said. And their Irvine apartment is about 500 square feet in size, a jarring shift for a family of six used to living in a Laguna Niguel estate, he noted.

"If they put five beds [the couple has four children] in a 500-square-foot apartment, they barely have room for the bathroom," Young said. "The math just doesn't work."

According to Walters' legislative biography, the entire family now lives in Irvine.

Another clue the apartment is a charade, Young said, is that "after the primary, we sent a bouquet of flowers to her Irvine apartment and we walked by to look at the bouquet and watched it wilt for a week before anybody touched it. For a week after the election nobody went there."

Every time Young or someone from his campaign goes to the apartment, nobody answers the door, Young said.

A judge will hold a hearing on Young's claim in Sacramento on Oct. 19.

-- City News Service

Gary DiSarcina September 21, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Mimi's been spotted around the complex's laundry room, bumming quarters and complaining that the machines aren't stainless steel.
Brash Brazen September 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM
The loss of this seat could be the tipping point for a Democratic super majority in the State Senate ! If you live nearby & can confirm that she doesn't live there,your account could be useful in disqualifiying her from seeking re-election so please come forward !
Lancer September 22, 2012 at 12:10 AM
This is not the first time an office holder has been challenged for their actual residency. I seem to remember Bob Dornan had to justify having a huge house in Mass. (or Maine?), while only having a small place locally that he used to qualify for his office. It got worse when the local papers published a photo of his estate as he always claimed to be working for the voters in his district, (parts of Garden Grove). I think I am going to vote "yes" on Prop. 40.
M September 22, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I thought she lived in Laguna Niguel too? But just thought she was that areas rep. Doesn't look like the Dems are going to do much though. It should be that hard to get an address for her in Laguna niguel.
Robert Curtis September 23, 2012 at 12:01 AM
There are many reason for someone to have a second residency. I had one while going through some marriage problems. It can be for helping a family member or while remodeling your house as well. If this is the best this guy can do to defeat her he must be on really shaky ground. I'd suggest this lawyer to be honorable and stick to the issues of her voting record and her standing in the community.
Gary DiSarcina September 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM
There are even more reasons to have a second residence: to have place to grow pot, have an affair, or to poach a job in the senate that pays about $100k plus a $148/day tax free per diem.
Victor Le October 05, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Demoncrate always cry not this not that... but then closed the door vote "YES" shame...shame..

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