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    Southern California politicians can’t stay out of jail
    • July 13, 2023

    Southern California has seen a wave of arrested and charged politicians in the last few months.

    Most recently, in the Inland Empire, Riverside Councilmember Clarissa Cervantes was arrested for driving under the influence and San Jacinto City Councilmember Brian Hawkins was arrested on suspicion of assaulting two children. Cervantes was arrested on July 1, Hawkins July 2nd.

    Cervantes, who was previously convicted of driving under the influence in 2015, is reportedly seeking treatment for a drinking problem. Cervantes, a Democrat, is running to fill the state Assembly seat of her sister, Sabrina.

    Hawkins, a former Republican, announced in May that he would be challenging Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, as a Democrat to represent California’s 41st Congressional District.

    “I switched parties,” Hawkins said at the time. “But I didn’t switch my concern for the American people.”

    Then came his July 2 arrest for a reported “domestic incident” in which Hawkins was accused of having “committed an assault on two children at the location.” Hawkins has since been charged on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment.

    The arrests of Cervantes and Hawkins follow high-profile criminal charges against elected officials elsewhere in Southern California.

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    In June, Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for corruption-related offenses. Word of these corruption charges no doubt helped sink the candidacy of Price staffer Marisa Alcaraz, who was running for a Los Angeles council seat at the time. She was defeated on June 27th.

    In May, Orange County state Sen. Dave Min of Irvine was arrested for driving under the influence in Sacramento. Like Cervantes, Min, too, has claimed to seek help and is running for higher office, in his case the House of Representatives.

    We recognize all of these elected officials deserve their days in court on their respective criminal charges. In the case of Cervantes and Min, who have both admitted what they did, they should step aside and resolve their problems before seeking political office.

    But we’d just like to ask, on behalf of all Californians: can you, elected officials, at the very least stay out of jail?

    ​ Orange County Register