Moreno sought no Jail Time for Abusive Brother-in-Law

Dr. Jose F. Moreno, (c) 2014, (Photo: Dan Chmielewski)
Dr. Jose F. Moreno, (c) 2014, (Photo: Dan Chmielewski)
Dr. Jose F. Moreno, (c) 2014, (Photo: Dan Chmielewski)

Dr. Jose F. Moreno, a candidate for Anaheim City Council, wrote a March 2016 letter to a judge seeking probation instead of jail time for his brother-in-law charged with multiple counts of domestic abuse against Moreno’s sister-in-law Mauri Ramirez.  The details of the abuse over several years are horrific to read.

Here’s the copy of the press release, court documents, police reports and Moreno’s letter to the Judge seeking probation and no jail time for his brother-in-law, with Moreno himself stating he would be comfortable with his brother-in-law caring for his underage daughters. Additionally, there’s an anonymous letter Ramirez sent to Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait.

Here’s the press release issued today on behalf of Mauri Ramirez who tells us she has watched Dr. Moreno’s videos on Facebook and could no longer keep silent about his and his wife’s treatment of her as she tries to finalize the settlement of her divorce from Moreno’s abusive and now incarcerated brother-in-law:

Fearing for Her Safety, Sister-In-Law of Anaheim City Council Candidate Speaks Out About Surviving Years of Domestic Violence

Survivor documents years of abuse, stalking and criminal behavior at hands of ex-husband as well as victim-shaming by Family of Candidate Jose F. Moreno

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Mauri Ramirez is worried. For herself, her children and even the City of Anaheim. The consequences of this election are personal in a way few of us will ever understand. That is why she has decided to come forward and publicly share her story of survival from horrific domestic abuse and ongoing court proceedings that pit her against some very powerful political forces in the city of Anaheim.

Although sentenced to four and a half years in March 2016 and currently incarcerated at the North LA County Detention Facility in Castaic Lake, Ignacio Ramirez, Mauri’s husband of 20 years, is set to be released in May 2017 – perhaps even earlier should Proposition 57 pass in California. Ramirez was sentenced following a criminal jury trial that found him guilty of felon stalking, harassment, breaking a previously court ordered restraining order, and domestic abuse. While the prospect of his release frightens her, it is his family connections that concerns her even more. Ramirez is the brother-in-law of Jose F. Moreno, candidate for Anaheim City Council.

“The family knew their brother was violent, this wasn’t an isolated incident,” says Mrs. Ramirez who divorced Ignacio in November 2011 and has yet to finalize a settlement. “Over the last 10 years he has done two stints in rehab, there have been 29 police reports against him, five restraining orders (criminal and civil), and, finally, a jury trial at which the family was present.” (See Attachment A)

Dr. Jose F. Moreno participated in that final criminal proceeding in March 2016, by writing a letter on the defendant’s behalf asking for leniency, probation and/or no jail time. When she learned a few short weeks ago that her former brother-in-law was running for Anaheim Council, the survivor, with encouragement from her children, decided she had to speak out and share her story. (See Attachment B)

The criminal case, which was handled out of Long Beach in California Superior Court, was well publicized at the time. Included in the testimony was a detailed history of the defendant’s past actions. (See Attachment C – Timeline). At the time, Deputy City Prosecutor Pooja Kumar said in a statement to the media, “Given the defendant’s menacing behavior toward his own family and his repeated failure to obey court orders, jail is the right outcome for this abuser.”

“Ignacio Ramirez is a domestic terrorist, there’s really no other description for it,” Says Mauri about the actions of her ex-husband. “But what I’m really most alarmed by is the behavior of his family. Through all the abuse, stalking and violence toward me and our children, even the criminal proceedings, they did not help us and have gone so far as to deny there is a problem and blame me.”

It is the ongoing blame and harassment that have fueled her concerns. Ramirez fears what will happen when Ignacio is released and if her former brother-in-law is in a position of power as a city councilman in Anaheim with the support of the City’s Mayor. “…if I’m not on record and something happens, will anyone know the truth?” she says.

Lorena Moreno, sister to Ignacio and wife of Jose F. Moreno, has been given power of attorney over Ignacio’s affairs and has, according to Ms. Ramirez, consistently blocked attempts to finalize the divorce settlement and court ordered restitution from her abuser. Ms. Ramirez’ attorney is in the process of filing a plea to facilitate a settlement and provide Ms. Ramirez with the closure she seeks.

Having rebuilt her life and moved her sons away from the home in Long Beach where so much pain and sadness occurred, Mauri had little contact with the family other than court appearances. But an innocuous Facebook post showing her ex-husband with the beloved family dog that had been reported stolen to police, changed all that. The dog, who Mauri credits with saving her life, attacked Ignacio during the last incident of abuse in which he choked her by the throat.

“I saw the photo and thought…they are hypocrites; they really don’t care. Then I saw the campaign posts and could not believe how the family was positioning themselves,” explains Mauri. “How can someone claim to stand for the people and be dedicated to helping strangers when they wouldn’t lift a finger to save their own family members from violence?”

She began to reach out to tell her story although she was admittedly tenuous at first, sending an anonymous letter to the Anaheim Mayor two weeks ago. (Attachment D) She has also sent letters and emails to the other candidates and the Orange County Democratic Party.

Mauri Ramirez’ goal is simple, to become a strong voice for domestic violence survivors who are afraid to speak up against their abusers and those who enable them – even if they are powerful. She is hopeful that Proposition 57 does not pass, intending to advocate for abusers to serve their full time and her story, she hopes, will help ensure her children’s continued safety.

# # #

Long Beach Press Telegram


Long Beach Post

Long Beach Patch


In his March 2016 letter to Judge, Moreno wrote (in one long paragraph; certain sentences bolded by me for emphasis) :

Dear Honorable Judge Halim Dhanidia,

Please accept this letter of support for Ignacio Ramirez’s sentencing hearing in hopes that the court will impose probation rather than jail time.  My name is Dr. Jose F. Moreno and I am Ignacio’s brother-in-law as I have been married to his sister Lorena for over 16 years.  I am also a Professor of Latino Education & Policy Studies at CSU Long Beach in the Chicano &Latino Studies Department.  I have known Ignacio for over 20 years and can state with full confidence that what Ignacio needs, above all else, is a compassionate and supportive environment as he continues to cope with a difficult divorce and limited access to his sons.  Ignacio is surrounded by a caring and giving family including his three sisters and three brother-in-laws.  I can say without reservation that I fully trust Ignacio with the care of my daughters when the need arises.  Ignacio is a wonderful uncle to our four girls as he is playful and nurturing.  He expresses concern for their well-being, inquires with care about his school work and social well-being, and always makes sure that they feel support from their “tio Iggy”.  As a member of the extended family for over 20 years I have had the chance to talk with Ignacio about many issues both personal and professional.  Although our lives are always on the run given the hectic nature of our respective professional careers, I am certain that what would be most beneficial to Ignacio is to continue his ongoing work with trained professionals (counseling) and to allow him to continue in his professional career amidst his extended family.  I am fully committed to doing whatever is needed to support Ignacio.  To remove Ignacio from structured support that is centered in his family environment could be devastating.  I do wish to add that I was quite distressed when I learned about his actions in violating the court-ordered restraining orders.  I am certain he recognizes the gravity of his violation of those orders and the negative effects those actions have had on him and his family.  I am fully confident he will not violate those orders again.  Indeed, I will make every effort personally to provide Ignacio whatever support I can give to assure he is respectful and in accordance with any requirements required of his probation.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my plea for Ignacio to received probation rather than jail time.  Ignacio is a determined, intelligent, and caring human being who made terrible decisions in violating his court orders.  I again express full confidence that he along with the rest of his family, along with myself, will be that much more determined to positively move forward and away from the tragic nature of a very difficult spearatin and divorce.

Signed/Dr. Jose F. Moreno.

All I can say is wow.  I need a shower after reading the reports of abuse and the letter.  If this were my brother-in-law, I’d keep him as far away from my children as possible.

We have reached out to Dr. Moreno for a comment which I will run fully and completely.  He has not responded to a text sent to his phone.

As I was drafting this, AnaheimBlog beat me to the story.  Here’s their post.




  1. Doug Pettibone and Steve Chavez Lodge have nothing on this guy. Moreno has some explaining to do. Where’s LoGal on this?

  2. Is there no depths to which Disney will go to destroy a candidate they are opposing? None of us are members of the families involved and like other revelations regarding folks tied to Mayor Tom Tait only one side is being presented. This is just another attempt to smear Dr. Moreno’s name.

  3. Jose F Moreno does not hold his family members or friends to an equal standard of justice. The victim and her children might have been killed if her abusive spouse were not imprisoned. Moreno has bad judgement and should not have written the letter. I called the police on my friend for abusive behavior and vandalism and set into motion the path for his three year prison term which he served fully and today he is a productive member of society.

  4. This is a guy who HAPPILY takes $$$ from the most HATEFUL GOP BIGOT. And wants us to accept his SMARMY SMILE.


  5. Sounds like Ignacio follows those same High Standards “One Punch” Doug set for himself.

    What is it with Tom Tait and wife beaters?

      • Whoa. Thats below the belt. Donna’s black eye at the city council meeting was from a can of Campbell’s soup that fell from the top shelf.

        You know batterer it’s not easy or fun feeding AVLS members, those guys (when not high on Meth) is a tough job.

        Speaking of Meth, where has Henry “Paul Lucas” Lipton been in this post election fray???

  6. The Weekly just blew up your pathetic 11th hour stunt, orchestrated by Kris Murray’s strategist, no less. Desperate much?

    • Funny post Gabriel. Nice of Gustavo to bring up the Catholic Church sex abuse stuff. Did you enjoy 28% of your check coming via revenue from Gustavo must. On the backs of sex trafficking victims no less. I would encourage you to read the extensive court filings linked to this story for yourself.

    • hey Gabriel, you have surrendered your ethics by being a “journalist” endorsing a candidate for office. This blog endorsed no one. I did have a post saying who I was voting for but it shouldn’t be considered an endorsement. You on the other had can no longer ethically report on Anaheim because you allowed your bias to be made public. If only you had picked a better candidate…..

      • I’m the only honest broker in a city full of hacks. And I don’t take lessons from a pathetic loser who’d have readers believe he just happened to be writing on the same story before ratty Matty beat him to it. Yeah fucking right!

        • I got the press release Monday afternoon. I texted Dr. Moreno for comment. He declined. I started writing. Matt posted before I did. I suspect he got the press release at the same time. Matt’s story had a different slant than mine. And the victim here was Moreno’s sister-in-law and not Moreno’s wife’s brother. A comment was left about the Moreno family’s treatment of this woman on the post about IEs from a Howard Ahmanson posted last week. I responded asking for more information. It’s my understanding Moreno’s sister-in-law hired CommunicationsLAB to share her story.

          Matt worked on his story. I worked mine. I did not know he was working until I checked his site before posting, hence the reference.

          You’re an “honest broker?” Not when you endorse a candidate for office. Did you ever take a class in journalism ethics? You must have missed the day they said journalists shouldn’t endorse political candidates.

          • You mean just like how Matty “mysteriously” received an unredacted Urell deposition that was legally available only to counsel? Spare us your Captain Renault act.

            Long ago, we at the Weekly learned that people who lecture us about journalism ethics have none. And the record stands that you—a supposed Democratic activist—constantly aligns himself with one of the most reprehensible GOP hacks in Orange County, himself aligned with the ultimate GOP lobbyist hack. Hacks of a feather stay together, I guess? But it’s all good: our journalism ethics continues to expose the evil in Orange County; yours, on the other hand, has only resulted in an unhealthy public obsession with goateed local bloggers.

            • Sorry, I don’t have regular conference calls with Matt to review content. I reacted to a press release I got with significant content, documents and backup. I wrote my piece independently….

              As for the Weekly’s journalism ethics, spare me; your Best of OC contest is rigged in favor of advertisers who buy awards in exchange for ads. I have spoken with no fewer than four vendors who were nominated, got the most votes, but didn’t win. Why bother with the façade of reader voting?

              You and your entire staff — for years — had a portion of your paychecks come from revenue generated by which law enforcement called an online brothel selling underage girls into human trafficking. You remain silent on this. Hope you can explain this to your daughter someday if you are ever lucky enough to have one.

            • Little Gustavo Arellano now pretends to defend Dr. Jose Moreno, when he has called Moreno a “race hustler,” opposed district elections in Anaheim, and uses a repulsive anti-Mexican stereotype as the logo for his out-dated and gabacho “Ask a Mexican” column. And no one believes that Arellano gives a damn about sexual abuse victims. Not when he was happy taking $$ from the owners of a sex slavery website. He’s neither a journalist nor a man of integrity. Arellano has no politics or principles. Instead, he has ego, grudges, and resentments.

        • Gabriel San Roman works for a free newspaper (OC Weekly) that called Dr. Jose Moreno a “race hustler,” that is run by a professional Mexican Stepin Fetchit clown who opposed district elections in Anaheim, and was founded by a sleaze who now writes for various right-wing anti-union groups. He is a sniveling hypocrite.

  7. Is it too early to bag on Greg Diamond and his clown car, for costing us an election?

    NOTE TO SELF: “If running for public office in or around OC, make enemies of the OJBLOG, you are sure to win”!

    So, being the “Fake Mexican” I am, I sent my Father, in Mexico a few hundred dollars today from Northgate in district 5 in Anaheim. Of course MOST people there can’t vote and those who could didn’t. How’s that for bringing representation to the neighborhoods! But back to Mi Papa’. Ironically, on Trumps FIRST DAY, the exchange rate is 19.23 Peso vs. dollar a tremendous value. So if you have family in MEXICO, you get a HUGE bang for the buck right now.

    Now, if I was from an island nation in the Pacific and had a DICTATOR for President, you’d think I would lash out about that and not Bernie Sanders, but then again if I was a FAT, LAZY and UNEMPLOYED Blogger, I really wouldn’t care about such people even though I am related to them through marriage.

    HEY, That reminds me, there is a term for that (in Spanish): Concuno, it means related by marriage, Paul Lucas claims otherwise (Paul, Concuno is like Jose Moreno’s Brother In Law’s Wife, you know the one he wanted to let Ignacio continue BEATING!) It get’s a little dicey if same sex marriage is involved though, so Jose would just have those sicko’s reprogrammed.

    Anyway, I digress, Great job OJB, I am sure Josh Newman appreciates your hard work and 50,000 words, while he is bagging at Whole Foods or playing Mr. Mom (after all it’s the wife that’s the hedge fund banker), Jose and Donna, and don’t forget Old Brian, who “could have won” (if he could get 250 primary votes).

    Sorry, if I am rambling, I accidently took Addison’s aderall, now I know how you feel Greg!

    • I read Greg’s comment that Chuchua could have won if Pahani didn’t take all the Democratic votes. Again, Pahani is a Democrat and Chuchua is not. Chuchua got 4,635 votes among 7 candidates; I got nearly three times that total for Central Committee with only Democrats voting. Yet another example of Greg placing an independent or a Republican ahead of a Democrat.

      While the results are not yet final in Anaheim, it appears that voters don’t consider Mayor Tait as popular as OJB commenters do. In Irvine, like Anaheim, lots of money was spent and money sure helps. but in the end, people vote. We still have a ways to go to turn DTS and NPP voters into Democratic voters.

  8. I am told that it is increasingly likey Jose Moreno will challenge his inevitible loss to Jordan Brandman and instead will “throw in the towel” and lobby HEAVILY for the DPOC chair position. A much higher profile and influential position. Never, a kingmaker, a cute prince Moreno is “STARVED FOR ADVANCEMENT” according to one DPOC member and former Jose ally.

    This is interesting, because just like with the 2016 Presidential results, we are forced to wonder……what if the tables were turned?

    If Jordan were somehow to fall behind (unlikely) in the D3 race and lose. He would be a shoo-in for the DPOC chair position. Ever the forward thinking, long tern looking, moderate Dem that can choose candidates who can WIN. Who can bring the party back to the center, where elections are won.

    Unless party rules are changed so the kids at Westmont ES can pick, Jose will be better off teaching his college classes.

    • The new DPOC chair needs to be someone who can represent the entire party from Seal Beach to San Juan Capisrano; someone who can navigate unions in the public and private sector. And someone who can raise money. Henry did. Jeff couldn’t. Jose can’t. If the party goes for a “Berniecrat” then the Truman dinner will be a BBQ in Jeff Letourneau’s backyard and the progress the party made under Henry backslides.

      • I wouldn’t worry about anybody from Greg Diamonds “wing” of the party being elected chair, unless the goal is to choke off progress.
        For a group that preaches tolerance and respect, I don’t see a lot of that from Diamond, Letourneau or Moreno, although the later is responsibly quiet.
        Let’s wait and see, we don’t even know the damage done yet by these “EXTREMISTS”, hopefully it does not cost, Josh, SQS, Michele, the posts, but, it’s entirely likely.
        Thanks Bao, Joe Dunn, Jeff, Henry “Paul” Lipton, Greg and the whole Vern Nelson/Donna Acevedo abortion. You did good at reducing party unity to rubble.

        Luckily, Dr. Bill can try and triage the damage, although not likely before 2018. Good job “progressives”.

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