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To the editor:

Mayoral candidate Fred Keeley cannot be trusted to run our city.

He is someone who in the past has contributed to the normalization of political corruption.

This path began in April 1995, while he was chair of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and approved and signed Resolution #114-95 The resolution procedurally exonerated then-District Attorney Art Danner for directing the then-Assistant District Attorney Catherine Gardner to falsify her timecards. Gardner had been placed on leave after being caught inhaling cocaine. But her timecards showed her as “unavailable.”

The timecard falsification occurred while Danner was running for reelection. But the public did not learn about it until after the election. Keeley’s resolution made it all go away.

Does anyone today believe the election context was irrelevant? For raising the issue, his opponent was accused of “sour grapes” in a Sentinel editorial at the time.

Keeley also became the gung-ho promoter of Superior Court Judge Ariadne Symons’ 2020 reelection. She is a judge who has proven and been reprimanded for her flawed judgement in numerous cases, including when she tried to “fix” her own ticket for running a red light.

Keeley might be environmentally and/or socially aware and an effective bureaucrat, but he did not stand up and recognize or respond to abuse of power — the single most important act for a political leader.

After the California Commission on Judicial Performance censured Symons on May 8, 2019, Keeley penned and pushed a post-censure, “alternative facts” revisionist history “statement of support”, insisting Symonds is “ a person with impeccable ethics and always places service above self.” It is signed by a stunning list of prominent community leaders, including 18 former and current elected officials, 12 members of the legal community, four members of the law enforcement community and 10 community leaders.

Opposition arose to Symons and she dropped out, knowing she would have had to answer public questions about her flawed record.

It turned out not to be the slam-dunk Keeley anticipated. The pity of it is nobody cared then, and — it seems — nobody cares now.

Bob Lamonica
Santa Cruz

Lookout asked Fred Keeley to respond to Lamonica’s letter. Here is what he said:

To the editor:

The author of this letter has been seeking revenge for an action years ago that got him crosswise with the then-district attorney.

Mr. Lamonica has been on this weird campaign for many, many years (important to note that the district attorney he is obsessed with died many years ago).

I am not his problem, he is his own problem.

Fred Keeley
Santa Cruz