County board candidate Pat Loe said if elected, she would recuse herself over decisions regarding longstanding litigation between the county and former Supervisor Richard Scagliotti in light of the $3,000 donation he gave to her campaign.
Scagliotti has been embroiled in a civil lawsuit with San Benito County since 2016 as part of legal issues stemming from 2003 when an anonymous group calling itself Los Valientes filed suit claiming the former supervisor, who’s a developer, voted on matters in which he had a financial interest.
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The county since early 2016 has been seeking repayment of nearly $500,000 in legal fees paid for representation of Scagliotti in the longstanding litigation. That came after the courts ordered Scagliotti to pay $220,000 in fines related to allegations he used his office for personal gain.
Loe accepted a $3,000 donation Feb. 28 of this year from Scagliotti for her 2018 campaign, according to documents filed with the elections office. He made the donation while continuing to battle the county in court, and now the matter is before the Sixth District Court of Appeal as Loe continues contesting for the District 3 supervisor seat.
“I didn’t even know,” Loe said. “Truthfully, I didn’t even know that happened. I didn’t know there was an appeal pending.”
She said she knew about the case when she left the board in 2010 but that she didn’t know it was still going on.
“If there was some kind of decision, of course I would have to recuse myself,” Loe said of the Scagliotti matter in the event she is elected this November. “It’s not because of the donation. It’s because we’re personal friends.”
Loe was a supervisor on the board with Scagliotti when the legal action started. She lost her seat to Supervisor Robert Rivas, who’s running for State Assembly, in 2010. Loe is running against Peter Hernandez for the District 3 seat to represent southwest Hollister.