Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Club Rumors: "He-Said, He-Said" in Azusa

Despite the fact that by the middle of February, Azusa Mayor Diane Chagnon had raised more than all 7 of the other city council candidates combined—$32,123 was the figure Alison Hewitt of the SGV Trib reported on Feb. 15th—she still lost, in a race in which her accusations of turkey stealing against eventual winner Joe Rocha, as well as campaign contributions from Athens Services trash company, the developers of the massive Rosedale (you've-seen-the-signs-on-the-210) project, and her ties to Vulcan Mining all became issues during public debates.

After the election, in which she had been strongly endorsed by the SGV Trib, she hinted that she would be interested in taking the open seat on the council left because of Rocha's win ["Of course, there is an open seat, and if the council wants to appoint someone with 13 years of experience, that's their option"], but the council (just recently) appointed the third place candidate, Robert Gonzales to the seat vacated by Azusa's new mayor, Joe Rocha.

In any event, Chagnon appointed one Mark Ades to the planning commission after he served as her campaign manager in the 2005 election. (People argued about this on a local website forum here, some disparaging Ades' political style.)

Ades made the papers recently when the D-Club and Restaurant tried to start a weekly gay themed "Club Rumors" night. The Alison Hewitt SGV Trib article is posted on the forums at Azusa Pride, a website that says Azusa is "the gay friendliest city in the valley." [And here you always thought the evangelical Azusa Pacific University was defining of Azusa.] City officials said that the D-Club actually didn't even have the right permits to be a club in the first place, and "was also the site of underage drinking, large fights and lax security." Ades, "who said he had attended the club in the past," was cited defending the club, which appears to have weathered the storm.
All of which brings us to the current situation. The day after Joe Rocha won the mayoral election, Mark Ades resigned and sent out a letter to the city council and the city manager alleging that Joe had always wanted to get a little gay friendly with Mark. And so, as Bethania Palma and Frank C. Girardot have it in the SGV Trib: "Mayor Joe Rocha has filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County District Attorney alleging a former city planning commissioner [Mark Ades] used threats to try to force him out of office."

The threat [(s)?], according to mayor Rocha, was going public with claims that he "aggressively initiated a 'disturbing sexual encounter' during an unannounced visit to Ades' home on North San Gabriel Avenue. The incident occurred in 'early 2005,' according to [Ades' PR person, Brenda] McGann.

McGann declined to elaborate on the nature of the alleged contact.

Rocha's supporters expressed outrage at the allegation..."

(See also the CBS2 report here.)

Ades says he didn't threaten anything, but simply resigned and provided his reasons: a sordid history of "unwanted advances." Rocha supporters might chalk it all up to a particularly acute case of sore loser syndrome. But both guys have some explaining to do. Whoever is in the right, I'm guessing the rumors are flying at Club Rumors...


Anonymous said...

And people forget that Diane supported putting inexperienced Angel into a vacant seat, and supported an inexperienced APU student for MAYOR!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
just one informed opinion said...

Mark Ades is an emotionally disturbed liar, and evidently a little delusional about himself. For years he bragged to friends of how he could make or break political careers. I guess this time he thought he'd give it a shot!

The story is that Ades actually went to the city attorney and threatened to her that he'd outloud make this accusation at Mr. Rocha's swearing-in ceremony if he didn't agree to resign as mayor beforehand. That's why it's called attempted blackmail!

Apparently if Rocha didn't take office, the three council members would have to appoint the mayor and Ades thought Diane Chagnon would be back in. (Maybe Chagnon hoped for the same!)

Mr. Rocha has a strong reputation for putting his family above everything, and Ades probably thought Rocha would 'spare them' and cower down to his threat. But obviously with the support of his family, Rocha did the right thing and turned this garbage over to authorities.

Ades is pretty stupid, too! He claims this so-called assault happened in early 2005? Well, that has to mean BEFORE Rocha was badly injured in a car accident on 1/6/2005, on crutches for months! But Ades was witnessed by several people actively and HAPPILY supporting Rocha in his council campaign for those next several months, even at Rocha's own house!

Does that sound like the victim of an agressive sexual attack? Maybe he was so traumatized that he blocked out the incident and conveniently remembered it in time for this year's campaign?

Mr. Rocha's only mistake was ever letting Mark Ades work on his campaign a couple years back. The only thing Rocha has to answer for, really just to himself, is how he ever trusted someone that practically everyone else in Azusa (except for Ades' gal-pal, ex-Mayor Diane Chagnon) thinks to be a scary & untrustworthy coward.

Speaking of coward, there is a silver lining to all this. Not only has Ades resigned as a Planning Commissioner (not to mention his roles with the LA County Democratic party & 57th Assembly district are no more), but rumor (pun intended!) is that he plans to leave the city and move somewhere else.

Gosh, I'll help him pack... as long as I can have a witness present!

Anonymous said...

I would greatly appreciate it if the person running this blog would please consider requiring people to use their real names if they want to throw around nasty comments about people. It is too easy for people to throw around false comments under fake names. The comments form 'just one informed opinion' are just plain dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Instead of balking about "who" is saying what, it would be more helpful if the also-anonymous commentator above me would explain what precisely is so "plain dishonest" about those comments. Maybe he or she doesn't understand that blogs are full of perpectives and opinions, or that the bloggers hosting this site are also anonymous.

Richard M. said...

Mr. Rocha is a good and honorable man. I think the timing of the accusation speaks to its veracity (or lack there of).

Several of you have brought up good points, however, about taking a hard look at who we have running our cities.

I am far less worried about the accusation than I am about someone who would falsely accuse such a good and upstanding citizen as Mr. Rocha. We need to rid our cities and our governments of these creatures.

As for the anonymous thing - people should have the courage of their convictions and put their names, but wormy bastards like Ades make us all fear retribution, so here we are.

Anonymous said...

I was first very excited about our new Azusa. But I now regret voting for a man that is not who he looks to be. I also work for the city, so I am concerned with issues that occur in our community. I have learned that Rocha's display of good citizenship is just simply for his own glory. It also had come to my attention that his sons except for one are drug abusers and the oldest is a registered pedaphile who was going to move to Azusa. Rocha offered his pedaphile son a home outside Azusa, so his image will not be tarnished.

He is quick to make claims, at the same time his own family is a threat to our children of Azusa or surrounding communities.

Rocha plays the victim to many, I am obviously the only one who is not fooled. Azusans wake up!!!!!

Social Worker LA said...




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Anonymous said...

It's sad that people have family members that go the wrong way. I have that in my own family and now they're cut off. No one is responsible for their actions but them, not you or their parents. When all is said and done, you can't control someone else. It's even more sad that other people try to use that for a way to harm someone. I guess they never heard about what they say about people in glass houses. I feel that last two posts are more of the maliciousness from an angry supporter of our ex-mayor. What he or she is saying about Mr. Rocha's estranged son is very old news. The other stuff he or she's trying to imply is just trash. If he or she wants to talk about a victimizer who wants to paint himself as a victim, and how we should worry about our kids, why don't we look more at Mr. Ades's past relationships? I believe a teenage boy can't legally consent to a man in his 30's or 40's even if he wants to. It's still a crime and I would not have mentioned it if he wasn't trying to harm Mr. Rocha in the matter he is. I think it's fair to bring up because to me it says alot about someone's low morals and lack of truth. The more we hear about Mr. Ades and see the trash his coming from his obvious politically motivated peers, the more they embarrass us all.

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