Riverside Councilwoman Cervantes Not Guilty of Ethical Violation for DUI – Press Enterprise

Clarissa Cervantes, a member of the Riverside City Council, will not be charged with an ethics violation according to a decision from fellow council members on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. Previously, an ethics complaint against Cervantes was dismissed by the city’s Board of Ethics; however, an appeal against this decision was sent to the council. The council members, voting 5-0, endorsed the Board’s decision, declaring no procedural error occurred, as was previously alleged.

The initial complaint against Cervantes was lodged by Ben Clymer in October. He accused her of two counts, one of failing to divulge her income, which goes against government regulations, and the other related to her DUI arrest which he argued was an ethics breach under city laws. The Board of Ethics has deferred action on these claims until the Fair Political Practices Commission concludes its examination.

Clymer alleged that a procedural mistake was made by the Board. His argument was that Freya Foley, an Ethics Board member, should not have participated in the debate as she represents both the Ward served by Cervantes and is the president of the Democrats of Greater Riverside, which supports Cervantes’ Assembly campaign.

Despite Clymer’s allegations, Foley participated in the proceedings, stating she had received consent from both the City Clerk’s office and the City Attorney attached to the Ethics Board.

In any case, a council member proposed that no procedural breach occurred and suggested supporting the Ethics Board’s dismissal, a motion that was seconded by another council member. Both Cervantes, who was the subject of the complaint, and Clymer, the complainant, were not present during the debate.

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