Originally posted at www.liberaloc.com
Tom Daly, OC Clerk Recorder and sole remaining candidate for assembly in AD-69, today was cleared by an independent investigation of sexual misconduct and favoritism in his capacity as OC Clerk Recorder.

The Register has the full story but here are some of the highlights:

“The County hired a neutral, independent investigator to conduct an investigation into this matter,” wrote Steve Danley, the county’s human resources director, in an Oct. 18 memo that Daly provided to the Watchdog. “That investigation is now complete, and ‘concludes that all of the allegations in the Anonymous complaint are unfounded. There is no evidence to substantiate any of the allegations, and the evidence establishes, to the contrary, that Mr. Daly has not engaged in sexual misconduct or favoritism to those employees’.”

The accusations in the four-page letter were among the first handled under a new county policy under which allegations against elected officials or agency directors are referred to outside law firms for investigation. The policy was implemented this year as surviving members of the county hierarchy absorbed lessons from last year’s botched internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against former OC Public Works executive Carlos Bustamante.

Daly issued the following statement:

“Confirms what most people already knew, that the allegations were complete fabrications. This was simply a pathetic attempt to smear me. While the lies of the anonymous complainer are appalling, so is the unnecessary waste of tax dollars spent on this investigation. The county government’s system for anonymous complaints is too easily used as tool for smear tactics. It’s also flawed because it does not protect the legitimate privacy of innocent, hard-working employees, while it protects the anonymous accusers. This is out of balance and should be fixed.”

Had the investigation gone much longer, many would have considered it a politicized witch hunt. Daly, who has no opponent for assembly since second-place finisher Joe Moreno dropped out due to a Hatch Act violation, can now cruise to election in the Assembly without this cloud over his head.