There is a saying in Spanish that I often hear repeated in political circles, “Dime con quien andas, y te diré quien eres,” translated as, “tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.” Caroline Valdez, a former executive assistant to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, pleaded guilty today to theft. In the whole scheme of things, this is rather petty theft, nothing like the larceny on Wall Street or in the banks, but even still, it shows you what kind of strange priorities Ms. Valdez has and reveals a bit about the kind of manager Rep. Sanchez is:
“Caroline Valdez admitted in federal court Monday that she used Sanchez’s House credit card to buy airline tickets for herself and a family member and get pizza and groceries delivered.
The 27-year-old Arlington resident also admitted that she forged Sanchez’s signature to get $6,000 in bonus salary and inflated the cost of taxicab fare she actually paid to get greater reimbursement.
Valdez said her theft totaled more than $5,000 during the two years she worked for the Democratic congresswoman. ”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s office offered no comment to the press on this matter, but I do think that a simple, “We don’t condone this kind of behavior” or “We carefully audit our expenses” would have been a nice gesture, don’t you think? Just last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Rep. Sanchez gives out the largest bonus payments to her staff even in these tough times. However, her spokeswoman, Adrienne Elrod explained that her boss is “proud of the bonuses she is able to give.” That being said, I still wonder why Valdez decided to charge personal travel to her boss’s House credit card given the congresswoman’s generosity with bonuses at the public’s expense. We just had a similar incident here in California with Carrie Lopez.