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Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s former assistant pleads guilty to theft

May 18th, 2009 · 13 Comments

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.   

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Tags: ethics · Rep. Loretta Sanchez

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 DoctorH // May 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    It never ends with this public thief. The drama just continues on and on and on. And her collusive relationship with a certain lobbyist is about add conflict of interest charges to that decade long inept public behavior.

  • 2 Red Baron // May 19, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Valdez stole a few thousand bucks and goes to jail. Big scandal. A thousand blogs light up and all the major news wires run the story. But Loretta stole another woman’s husband and no one cares. Apparently, a few lousy pieces of silver are more important than the sanctity of marriage. Now, some will lecture us about how Loretta’s adultery is not a crime and therefore it has no relevance to her public duties, etc. (even though she perpetrated her theft during official congressional travel with her official military escort). Well, as the Edwards case demonstrates, adultery does matter and affects one’s public credibility. It matters to many voters, who care about the character and trustworthiness of our elected officials. The criminal code doesn’t define our moral horizon, and public officials should aim for a higher standard than that. Some voters won’t care if Loretta can’t be trusted around other women’s husbands. Some clearly do care and firmly believe that her adultery does affect her ability to perform her job and her oversight of the Pentagon. The point is that her adultery is just as egregious as Valdez’s theft and just as newsworthy.

  • 3 El Cholo // May 19, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Everyone that works for Loretta Sanchez is a reflection of Loretta Sanchez and her values. This isn’t the first Loretta Sanchez staffer who has stolen from the public, and it won’t be the last. Her staff simply mimics her. Why do you think she generates such little meaningful legislation?

  • 4 theKaiser // May 19, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I agree that Loretta Sanchez is an absolute low-life, a virus on the body politic, and a Congressional profiteer, but the mass media is only interested in castrating socially prominent males for adultery. Especially males who could possibly change the way government interacts with the people it’s supposed to serve. Since Loretta Sanchez represents absolutely no hope of even slightly making a positive difference in people’s lives, she is a threat to no one. Loretta’s freak could ruin the lives of dozens of families, and no one in Congress will lift a finger to condemn her because so many of them are engaging in similar behavior. That’s the sad reality.

  • 5 WhatThe.. // May 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    It doesn’t matter how petty or large the crime is. If five others were involved doing similar petty crimes, the cumulative cost of them would be high. It all reflects upon the character and staff of that office. Its theft and its wrong.

  • 6 WhatThe.. // May 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    A giving person may give with reserve when it is their own money. A giving person may have a greater predilection to give genourously when it is not their own money.

  • 7 Disgusted In Signal Hill // May 19, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Not to single out Loretta Sanchez or anyone from her camp, but it’s so galling that these politicians see themselves as righteous do-gooders and when stuff like this happens, citizens are barely (if at all) surprised. We, the citizens, can see right through the charade each time.

  • 8 BettyM // May 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I agree that a comment from Sanchez’s office is in order and it would be a nice gesture. Since her office has remained silent the first sentence in your article is appropriate.

  • 9 Professor Y // May 21, 2009 at 9:07 am

    There is another saying “[It would] be the pot calling the kettle black!] so don’t expect Rep. Sanchez’s office to issue a
    statement disavowing Valdez’s behavior. Who says she didn’t purchase the tickets with Sanchez’s nod and wink?

  • 10 theKaiser // May 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I was about to write exactly that, but Professor Y said it for me. The degree of shamelessness that this Congressional Representative practices is very alarming.

  • 11 Bearguez // May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I understand this public thief is abroad in Greece. And that her DC office is evading the media’s questions regarding the usual unethical allegations.

  • 12 The Making of the “Loretta Sanchez Scandal” // Jun 2, 2009 at 5:50 am

    [...] about donations from Hugh Hefner. Additionally, her office did not release a statement about the Caroline Valdez embezzlement case. As in other instances, her office has not returned the calls of bloggers and the requests of a [...]

  • 13 Caroline Valdez, former aide to Rep. Loretta Sanchez, gets probation // Sep 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    [...] for information on Caroline Valdez, the former aide to Representative Loretta Sanchez, who pleaded guilty to theft back in May. Well, the update is that Ms. Valdez, a 28 year old engaged mother and Arizona [...]

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