The Liberal OC has learned that Tom Tait’s hand-picked city council candidate Doug Pettibone has withdrawn his candidacy for the Anaheim City Council’s race stemming from domestic battery charges in the late 1990s.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.
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.