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A summation of Peter Lance’s expose of the Lois Capps (D, CA-24) / Raymond Morua scandal.

Background: On December 6th, 2013, a young woman named Mallory Dies was hit-and-run by Raymond Morua, who at the time was a valued staffer to Representative Lois Capps (D, California-24).  Ms. Dies would later die of her injuries: Mr. Morua has since pled guilty to “gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and fleeing the scene of the crime.”  As the link above shows, Ms. Dies’ parents are now suing not only Mr. Morua… but also his former employer Rep. Lois Capps,and the federal government in general.  And the reasons for that lawsuit are the subjects of this post.

As people will probably remember, I wrote about this last week; as it turns out, local reporter Peter Lance (as noted in this diary here) had previously written extensively on this subject for the Santa-Barbara News Press.  Said exposes included some extremely disturbing details about the case, including what very much appears to be a cover-up. I really do recommend that people go ahead and read through the entire thing, but I want to make sure that the following details are noted.

  • It is established at this point that Raymond Morua had a history of both driving while intoxicated and hit-and-run incidents prior to his being hired by Congresswoman Capp in 2011. It is also established that Mr. Morua had spent ten days in County lockup while actually being an intern for Capp. This is relevant partially because of the civil suit, and partially because…
  • It is reasonable to think that on the night in question Mr. Morua had previously attended a party as a representative of the Congresswoman. This is a very sore spot because, if true, it might make both the Congresswoman and the host of the party (the Santa Barbara Independent) liable for damages.

Now this is where it starts to get problematical for Congresswoman Capps.

  • It is also reasonable to say that Capps’ staff tried for several days to do what they could for Raymond Morua; it is also reasonable to say that they abruptly stopped doing it when it became clear that Mallory Dies was going to die, and that they are now attempting to retroactively disavow all involvement in, and responsibility for, Mr. Morua’s actions.  Regardless, it appears that at least some actions designed to help Morua were engaged in by senior Rep. Capps staffer Mollie Culver.
  • And this is the big one: it is alleged – ALLEGED – that Mollie Culver signed Raymond Morua’s name to various Veterans Administration documents that would have facilitated getting him on a veterans’ addiction treatment program.

At this point everybody involved has gone no-comment.  This makes sense: the allegation of forged Federal documents turns this situation from one where a Congresswoman and her staff are merely acting badly to one where a Congresswoman and her staff are possibly trying to cover up a felony of their own. If it is true that Mollie Culver forged Raymond Morua’s signature – if – then it beggars belief that Culver’s boss Congresswoman Capps isn’t aware of that by now, if only privately. Put another way: if a felony was committed, then by now a sitting Congresswoman is at least passively engaged in covering up.

But even if that allegation is not true:  while Congresswoman Lois Capps might or might not have directed her subordinates’ behavior, she is still responsible for it.  And possibly liable for it.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Again, full details of this story can be found via Peter Lance’s website. And there is a bit more, including some stuff involving both a former judge and defense attorney.

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