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Another Tait Campaign Disaster: Pettibone Withdraws from Anaheim Council race


The Liberal OC has learned that Tom Tait’s hand-picked city council candidate Doug Pettibone has withdrawn his candidacy for the Anaheim City Council’s race stemming from domestic battery charges in the late 1990s.  Pettibone sent this email to the city clerk’s office earlier today, copying candidates for Anaheim office and his current wife on the email:

Subject: Doug Pettibone’s Withdrawal as Candidate for Anaheim City Council


Dear Madam Clerk and City Candidates:

It is with regret that I have decided not be a candidate for Anaheim City Council in 2014 and that I withdraw as a candidate. 

I chose to run for what I believed were the right reasons and I believe I am withdrawing for the right reasons.

As you know I love Anaheim having been a resident here since 1964 and I want to see Anaheim become the best city it can be. I wanted to be part of that process.  

As many of you know I am not a career politician and I was not fully aware that my life would become the subject of public scrutiny to the level it appears to becoming perhaps for others political gain.

Sixteen (16) years ago I was involved in a custody dispute with my now ex-wife. Although this was a time of brokenness in my life, since that time we have lived in harmony together and along with my current wife Claire we have jointly raised a fantastic son through all our combined efforts.

My ex-wife has enthusiastically endorsed my current campaign for Anaheim City Council. She even signed my nomination papers and currently has a yard sign for my campaign in her front yard. She has also assisted with the campaign in other ways.

Last night, for the first time, it was brought to my attention that certain matters that occurred during this custody proceeding sixteen (16) years ago will become public and will be used against myself and perhaps even the Mayor to attack our candidacies.

Please allow me to be frank. I have done some things and said something involved in that custody dispute which I am not proud of but which did occur and which I take full responsibility for.  For some reason I believed these records were private and perhaps I was overly hopeful that these issues were so far back in time that they would not or even could not be used against me. I never dreamed they could have been used against the Mayor. In fact I did not even believe these records were made available to the public. Had I known these issues, which occurred sixteen (16) years ago, could and would be used against me in this campaign I would have disclosed them to the Mayor upfront before he made the decision to endorse my candidacy. In fact, as I informed the Mayor today I was informed all the claims made against me involving those proceedings had not only been resolved and dismissed but were not available to the public. I recall even attempting to get the records myself on line and was unable to do so. This was another reason I did not tell The Mayor about these events.

It is not uncommon when someone goes through a custody/dissolution proceeding that they rededicate their lives to their faith. I did just that. It was a result of this renewed dedication of faith that my faith grew so strong I even later entered the ministry as a hospice chaplain and a compassion volunteer. I know of others who have experienced this renewal following times of trial and tribulations.

 I believed it was this rededication that gave me compassion to be a leader of Anaheim along with my sense of justice as an attorney and my dedication to those in need. In the end, I believe the Mayor endorsed the man I am today and not the man I was sixteen (16) years ago.

Unfortunately, like some of us who did not align themselves to be a career politician I have a past I cannot shake although perhaps an argument could be made it has made me the person I am today.

I simply cannot allow all these old issues to be brought to the surface again and to be relitigated. To allow this to happen and for me to have to spend most, if not all of my energy on setting the record straight, while all the while knowing how these types of things can be used against me is something I must now come to terms with.

For those who brought the issue forward, I at least owe them the respect of allowing me to withdrawal gracefully when I am sure other more vicious means could have been used. For that I suppose I am grateful in many respects.

But in the end it is my family I am most concerned about and the potential effect this would have upon them when we all thought this was behind us. So I must try to mitigate that potential damage to them. Withdrawing seems to be the only option.

 It was a difficult decision and one that I had to make rather fast so if it is at all possible I would request our family be allowed time to heal from this issue.

 Thank you. 

Doug and Claire Pettibone

Since Pettibone and James Vanderbilt were hand-picked by Tait, it calls into question how thorough the Mayor was in vetting his hand-picked ticket and Tait’s judgment.

What started this process Letter to Mayor Tait sent from Anaheim resident Lisa Lewis spelling out Pettibone’s divorce case history and tying it to the current domestic violence awareness in the NFL.

“What kind of message does this send to the women of Anaheim if on one hand our Mayor preaches for us to be kind to one another, while on the other hand asks us to vote for a man who has pled guilty to assaulting his wife?” she wrote, asking for a swift response.  There’s still no official response from Tait, but Pettibone’s withdrawl letter may be all that the Tait campaign has to say about the situation.

According to court records, in early 1998, Pettibone and his first wife separated.  In June, Pettibone was charged with four misdemeanor counts of battery, battery against a spouse, assault and harassment.  A jury cleared him of the threats and battery charges in November 1998.

The irony in Pettibone’s departure from the race on the revelation of domestic battery charges is that the City of Anaheim has declared October as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

We’ll continue to follow this story.



  1. lowincomeanduneducated lowincomeanduneducated September 24, 2014

    You are right! His judgement should be called into question! After all, he trusted in Lorri at one point too! And, look at her! She turned out to be a worse backstabber than anyone! At least everyone else attacks the Mayor to his face.

  2. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 24, 2014

    From: “Tom Tait (Mayor)”
    Date: September 24, 2014 at 10:35:56 AM PDT
    To: Lisa Lewis <>
    Subject: RE: Doug Pettibone
    Ms Lewis:

    I am unaware of the assertions that you present in your letter. I will look into this immediately .

    I am taking these concerns very seriously.



    According to the Pastor, the Tait campaign knew about this two weeks ago. Perhaps that is one of the reasons she was sick to her stomach about the campaign….

    • fiestainanaheim fiestainanaheim September 28, 2014

      Please Dan can you discuss how Lorri’s numero uno supporter Yesenia Rojas has helped her campaign by getting arrested for interfering with police activity. Tell us how peace on Anna Drive has been reached by Yesenia’s constant confrontations with the police. We want more posadas and pinatas for the poor people to make her a martyr.

  3. Vern Vern September 24, 2014

    WAIT just a damn second – “ANOTHER” Tait Campaign Disaster? Are you saying that Stielergate was a TAIT disaster? Take a poll – Stielergate was a Galloway disaster – Galloway and Chmielewski! By any criterion. Damn, you are a spinmeister.

    Shame about Doug, he seems like a great guy – my favorite of the two Tait-er Tots. I guess in this town you can’t get past something that happened 16 years ago. But at least that makes Dr Moreno the clear running mate for Captain Vanderbilt on the Tait slate, despite his partisan affiliation.

    And the plot sickens…

    • Observer Observer September 24, 2014

      I don’t buy Tait’s “I didn’t know” act. This story has been making the insider rounds for a couple of weeks. Tait probably didn’t want to deal with it or hoped it wouldn’t come out. Great leadership there.

      • Wait a Darn Tootin Minute Wait a Darn Tootin Minute September 24, 2014

        Who said this has been making the insider rounds for a couple weeks?

    • Nunchuck Nunchuck September 24, 2014

      Vern will you or Greg Diamond blog about this on OJ? Or will you sweep it under the rug?

      • eddie eddie September 24, 2014

        What Rug?
        Under the Rug

      • Vern Vern September 24, 2014

        Never fear, Greg is on Pettibone detail.


        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 24, 2014

          Oh boy, another 10,000 word conspiracy theory. Only the Tait bots will nod in agreement

        • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 25, 2014

          It’s up, Vern, for a little over 20 minutes now.

          I’d link to it, but you know the LOC commissars and their rules….

          • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski September 26, 2014

            Yawn. 4700 words. a signed confession of allegiance to Republicans and comments are priceless. And so many assumptions that are so wrong to outright mistakes. Biggest shock: Cynthia Ward calling a woman who was in an abusive relationship a bitch for raising a question of elected leaders. Shameful attack of angry Tait bots.

            • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 26, 2014

              Yawn. No specific rebuttal of anything I wrote, wrapped in nasty allegations. Typical of the Rovean mindset.

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 24, 2014

        I sure hope Greg asks Pettibone the “when did you stop beating your wife?” question.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 24, 2014

      If Dr. Moreno makes that move, the party just might pull their endorsement

      • Vern Vern September 24, 2014

        Yeah … LOL. Greg thinks you know what’s going on in the party, so now you’re starting to think Greg is right and you’re some kinda mover and shaker. Right, yank jose’s endorsement. He never DIDN’T endorse Tom, dork.

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski September 25, 2014

          Endorsing is one thing, joining the ticket is quite another…

      • anton marc anton marc September 26, 2014

        At least he is not on the Brandman slate (Murray/Eastman) aka the GOP slate. We will see how that little trick fairs for Mr. Brandman in the coming years.

  4. Dad Miller Champ Dad Miller Champ September 24, 2014

    Well I guess this clears the path for Donna Acseveda now! NOT!

    It will be fun to watch Greg “Defender Of Abused/Oppressed” Diamond explain this one away, there seems to be a pattern to the man’s double standard. “If it benefits Greg and his make believe world”, if it doesn’t, be prepared to read six thousand words explaining why Chris Norby is a evil minority wife beating maniac, but, Doug Pettione’s domestic violence was the past, way past.

    What a loser.

  5. johnny baseball johnny baseball September 24, 2014

    Lay off. This is HUGE baseball night. I am told Greg cleared his calendar for todays important games/matches: badmitten, ping pong and debate (is that a sport).

    Quit calling GD a political wonk. That dude rips it at the Brea 9 hole!

  6. Doug Pettibone Doug Pettibone September 25, 2014


    The charges that you reference in your email were all dropped by the District Attorney. Even the “assault” charge you claim I plead guilty to was dismissed in the interests of justice by the District Attorney.

    I am trying to track down the source of this misinformation and these half-truths. These things were not disclosed in the Lewis letter nor does she say where she got this information.

    Did you just publish contents of the Lewis letter or did you conduct your own independent investigation?

    This was a long time ago and any assistance would be greatly appreciate.

    Doug Pettibone

    • MARK Richard Daniels MARK Richard Daniels September 25, 2014

      Bravo Mr Pettibone, i stand with YOU! !

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski September 25, 2014

      Doug — Thank you for commenting. If you read the entire story through, please note this paragraph: “According to court records, in early 1998, Pettibone and his first wife separated. In June, Pettibone was charged with four misdemeanor counts of battery, battery against a spouse, assault and harassment. ****A jury cleared him of the threats and battery charges in November 1998.****

      Just because a jury cleared you of the charges doesn’t mean they weren’t brought forth in the first place.

      I have friends who are on their second marriage; others where the couple has someone who is in their first marriage and the spouse is on his/her second marriage, and sadly other friends going through the pain of a divorce. But I know no one on their third marriage. Tait was sloppy in not asking you what happened during the first two marriages and I’m told Tauit and his consultant threw you under the bus and demanded your withdrawl which clearly tells me Tom Tait is not a man who can be counted on in a storm.

      My records show you or your wife (not sure which one) filed for a restraining order in February 2006 — can you comment on that in as much detail as possible. Was it against the first ex-wife or the second ex-wife? Or which ex-wife took one out against you?

      I stand by my story.

    • Observer Observer September 25, 2014

      If this is all half-truths and misinformation, then you shouldn’t have dropped out of the race, Mr. Pettibone?

      • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 25, 2014

        Why are you posting under multiple accounts using the same name — and why isn’t our host calling you on it?

        If anyone had any doubts as to why Pettibone would want to end his campaign until such conditions even if he lacked significant culpability, I think that those doubts can now be put to rest.

        It makes one miss our host’s complaints about being called the Northwood Night Stalker.

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 26, 2014

          I have no way to prove or disprove your theory Greg. IP addresses are all different but that apparently doesn’t matter. What is interesting to note is our story happened well after Pettibone stepped down. I have all the case numbers involved so my reporting is solid. If you can’t find it, it’s not my fault you don’t know how to use the Internet well. I think Mr. pettibone’s admission that because he couldn’t find it, he didn’t need to disclose it means he sought to deceive Anaheim voters. I have yet to meet anyone on their third marriage.

          • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 26, 2014

            I was able to find it easily — once it was restored to the online database (from which it was supposed to have been permanently purged) and an anonymous commenter on OJB announced its presence as if it had never been missing.

            But you claim that you had it before approximately 1:30 p.m. on Thursday — meaning that, IF you were telling the truth, you likely have knowledge (based on who sent it to you) about who was involved in getting the file re-uploaded into the Clerk of Court’s database (or uploaded for the first time, if it was at least partially forged.)

            You’re not keeping up with the pace of events. Get with the program, Murray’s monkey. This just got much more serious — and you get to be involved in it!

            • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 27, 2014

              It’s over Greg. Everything we wrote was after Tait threw him under the bus and Pettibone copped to abusive behavior. I don’t have to reveal sources. But don’t you think Tait should have asked Pettibone, “so have you ever been arrested?”

            • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 27, 2014

              You took Pettibones statement at face value. You failed to dig. And what’s worse it you and the Tait bots attacked the person who contacted Tait and that was shameless. We broke the story, but nothing we wrote caused Pettibone to withdraw. Ask Tait if he demanded Pettibone quit.

  7. MARK Richard Daniels MARK Richard Daniels September 25, 2014

    “Let he (she) who is without sin…cast the first stone”…that something you are not going to see in print,on this obscure bog,or from a post office ‘pastor’…I for one hope Doug Pettibone would stay,in the race,for the Anaheim City Council, his name will still appear on the ballot, along with James Vanderbilt, i have worked closely with both of these fine gentleman, on their campaign, and would be a fine addition to the Anaheim City Council, and represent the city of my birth,my youth,my life,and along with our Great MAYOR TOM TAIT. ..Will continue to lead this great city forward, if that’s not your preferences, we have two fine PEOPLE on the November 4th ballot, Dr Jose F.Moreno & Donna Acevedo, for both of these fine people,i have worked close with on many issue in Anaheim, i say it is a “Win-Win” for my dear Anaheim,we have a chance to turn the city around, with council district, and i for one,would like to see a New Anaheim starting on November 4Th.

    • Observer Observer September 25, 2014

      Mark Daniels thinks every cop is a head-breaking thug out to get young Latino males, but he supports a man who pled guilty to assault? You’re a perfect Tait volunteer!

  8. lowincomeanduneducated lowincomeanduneducated September 25, 2014

    So according to this blog, a jury clearing you of the charges does not mean you are innocent. Great to see that the Justice system means nothing to some people. Innocent until proven guilty unless you are on the wrong side of the LOC! Make sure you never commit a mistake because this blog judge, jury, and forever castigator!

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski September 25, 2014

      Pettibone withdrew from the race before this story ran; our sources tell me Tit and his consultant threw Pettibone under the bus. I am simply reporting Pettibone withdrew and why.

      If you want to point the finger of blame, point it to Tait or Pettibone for hiding this little fact fro the voters. Blame Tait for not vetting his candidates well. And have a “Happy Domestic Violence Awarenes Month” in Anaheim. I hop you don’t flinch when Tait calls your name.

      • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 25, 2014

        I doubt that you have any sources at all, let alone ones that aren’t lying — or perhaps just HEAVILY DECEIVING with your knowledge and consent.

        I have doubts about your “records,” but those can be cleared up more easily. I’ll admit to having almost no experience with TRO records, but I’m surprised to learn that the Court (or whoever) has records that show only that someone was involved in a TRO action but don’t show who filed it or the counterparty.

        So, can you look at the document header or first page or whatever and just state what alleged document you’re allegedly looking at? That would at least make it less likely that you’re just making it up or reporting someone else’s percipient knowledge as your own. It should be right on there somewhere.

        BUT WAIT! Before you do that, here’s an invitation to regain a small nibble of your humanity and drop the entire thing:

        Does it BOTHER you that, for all you know, you may be dredging up facts from 2006 against an innocent (or at least no longer actively wrongdoing) third party here — and thus perhaps wrecking their life? It would be one thing if you knew that Pettibone was the target of the TRO — but, by your own admission, you don’t. WHAT KIND OF PERSON DOESN’T GIVE A SINGLE GODDAMN ABOUT THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE THAT THEY CAUSE?

        (Sorry — rhetorical question. YOUR kind of person, apparently, of course.)

        Tell me: would you lie — or at least HEAVILY, HEAVILY deceive — in what you considered a good (often meaning paying) cause? What’s the PR Professional rule on that? (Do PR Professionals really have rules that they’re supposed to follow? Or do they have rules that FLOUTING gets you credit?)

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski September 25, 2014

          Greg —
          I have documents and case numbers. Then so does Mr. Pettibone. You can get them from him.

          Keep defending conservative Republicans and good luck staying on the DPOC Central Committee

          • Ryan Cantor Ryan Cantor September 25, 2014

            Don’t be such a tease, Dan-o. Post ’em if you got ’em!

            • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 25, 2014

              I don’t have to Ryan. People who know how to search the web can find it.

              • Ryan Cantor Ryan Cantor September 25, 2014

                That’s ok, Dan-o. Matt did it for you.

                • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 26, 2014

                  I have family visiting from New York. And I’m not your monkey.

            • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 26, 2014

              At the time you initially asked for it, Ryan, it hadn’t yet been prepared to “go live” again. That would prevent our host from producing it — or even providing a link.

              It really does help nail down the timing. Does anyone think that LibOC would not post a supposedly incriminating document like that, if our host had it? But he’s so sly about not quite acknowledging that he didn’t have it.

          • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 25, 2014

            Pettibone’s letter said that he couldn’t obtain them from the Court. So, again — where did you get yours? What documents do you have? (Just read off the captions, titles, headers, footers, whatever.) How do you know that they weren’t made up or altered?

            I’m defending principles here that go WAY beyond partisanship. Even if you can’t see that — and it’s completely plausible to me that you can’t — I think that most people can.

  9. Steve Steve September 25, 2014

    “…this obscure bog…”

    And it’s Mark Richard Daniels with the inadvertent lurch-into-the-truth win!!

  10. MARK Richard Daniels MARK Richard Daniels September 25, 2014

    And so far, vern nelson,grae

  11. junior junior September 25, 2014

    Doug Pettibone: “.. I did not tell The Mayor about these events.”

    An unscrupulous act of omission on the part of Mr. Pettibone.

  12. Mary Daniels Mary Daniels September 25, 2014

    “According to the Pastor,” states Mr. Chmielewski, the Tait campaign knew about Doug Pettibone’s resignation two weeks ago. The Pastor, Mr. Chmielewski, is a liar. Ms Steiler’s last day in the campaign office was September 5. She has no knowledge of anything happening in this office after that date, and while she was in this office she had no knowledge of anything other than the basic tasks assigned to her. In fact she and her friend Patty spent most of their time avoiding those tasks in favor of doing telephone work for her “international foundation”, which was registered in Anaheim 13 months ago. I assume she luxuriated in having actual office space to do her work on Mayor Tait’s nickel, as it were, because the total plant and facilities of her “international foundation” occupy a UPS drop box. Please be advised that I will be happy to counter any more of her lies with verifiable facts.

    • Mark Richard Daniels Mark Richard Daniels September 25, 2014

      Mary (No Relationship) Daniels …..Great Post!!, ” Game-Set-Match”…Ms. Daniels.!!!

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 25, 2014

      Mary, Tait never vetted Pettibone. He endorsed someone who did things he wasn’t proud of for city council and dumped him as charges came to light. Tait is weak and has no loyalty to his people. It’s all about him.

      • anton marc anton marc September 25, 2014

        Mr. C.:
        You are displaying a stunning level of hypocrisy here. Where was your extended outrage at Jordan Brandman when he appointed Amanda Edinger, an anti-latino, anti-immigrant activist, to Anaheim’s Citizen Advisory Committee in the midst of an ACLU lawsuit documenting institutional discrimination against Latinos in Anaheim? Or Curt “Brownshirt Poll Guards” Pringle? What about Mr. Brandman’s plagiarism of wikipedia inhis taxpayer paid, no-bid contract “study”, written (and I use that term loosely, and with a facetious tone) while on the Anaheim School Board? You are willing to eviscerate an individual over alleged acts over 14 years ago, while ignoring plagiarism by Brandman as a school board member and appointment of and anti-latino and anti- immigration activist to a city advisory committee crrated in part to assess whether Latino and immigrant rights are being disenfranchised by the City of Anaheim?

        That sure is “liberal” of you, Mr. C.

      • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 26, 2014

        “Tait never vetted Pettibone.”

        Let’s start right there. What’s your evidence for this brazen assertion — or do you simply not care whether it is true?

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 26, 2014

          Pretty obvious Tait never asked the question “third marriage is 16 years? Why?”

          • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 26, 2014

            So are you saying that you think that people on their third marriage in 16 years should be disqualified from even local office?

            I don’t know that I’ve ever heard you discourse on these questions of moral indiscretion, Chum, but what do you think about Bill Clinton and Gavin Newsom?

            • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 27, 2014

              Bill Clinton and Gavin Newsome were never at arrested on spousal abuse charges. Given his history with wives #1 and #2, I sure hope Pettibone is nice to wife #3. Let me ask you greg, was Pettibone one of those conservatives for Prop 8? I’m sure he would worry about same sex marriage damaging the sanctity of his third one.

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 27, 2014

        Let me amend that statement a bit. Tait did a crappy job of getting Pettibone and Pettibone thought he could hide the old charges from the public because he couldn’t find it online.

  13. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 25, 2014

    Greg, please apply these same standards to your own blog. You allow all sorts of anon comments that attack your enemies. Please don’t be such a hypocrite. The Tait bots are out in force calling a former battered woman a bitch for contacting Tait.

    • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond September 26, 2014

      It’s not my blog. That’s not simply a technicality. Vern and I disagree on some things, but he has the final say and I don’t find our disagreement SO serious as to resign over it. (When it comes down to egregious situations, he’s usually pretty reasonable, which is why several people are now banned from the site.)

      My opinion about anonymous commenters is more similar to what yours USED TO BE when you were complaining about being called the “Northwood Night Stalker,” before you decided to tolerate extensive and vicious anonymous commentary including by the very person who called you that name. So — you wanted to talk about hypocrisy?

      For the record, I don’t like anonymous commentary where it serves as a vehicle for vicious personal attacks and critical factual assertions. You, apparently, do like it — so long as you or anyone you like is not the target. I think that it can be OK if someone who is capable of being a defendant in a defamation case — that is, an adult who is writing under their own name — will take responsibility for it. Vern and I were willing to “take the bullet” for Gus Ayer, for example, when he was using a pseudonym, although he would not have let us do so.

      Would you agree to be a defendant standing in the shoes in a defamation case against your anonymous commenters here? I’ll bet that you wouldn’t. Right?

  14. jose s. jose s. September 26, 2014

    is that why cheminowski thought paul lucas and myself along with that other dude were the same person? or is he just paranoid?

  15. aint tait aint tait September 27, 2014

    It’s all turning bad for Tait. Pettibone is a suspected batterer and is now Pettibone. Angels moving to Tustin. Defections in Tait camp lead to character assassination against volunteers and a battered woman who asked Tait why. Cynthia Ward proves there ain’t no kindness in Anaheim. Diamond is a disaster. Even Fitzgerald is an improvement as mayor.

Comments are closed.