Diane Harkey Suit Against Political Opponent Rooted in Her Husband's Ponzi-Like Scheme
A Bay Area political observer finds it odd that termed-out Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), "who often shreds trial lawyers and complains about 'lawsuit abuse,'" is suing a fellow Republican politician for $5 million for alleged "defamation."
It makes more sense when you understand Harkey is trying to extend her political career as a member of the Board of Equalization, as is the target of her suit and one of her opponents for the board seat, state Sen. Mark Wyland (R- San Diego).
"This may be the most exciting BOE race EVER," writes San Francisco Chronicle political blogger Joe Garofoli. "A very low bar, indeed, but still...."
The dust-up, as close Weekly readers may have figured out by now, centers around the bankruptcy, fraud allegations and general doucheyness surrounding Harkey's husband Dan and his former Point Center Financial Co. that helped provide some of the financial acumen his wife touts as she jumps from one taxpayer-funded office to another.
Diane Harkey accuses Wyland of having maliciously referred to Dan Harkey's legal and financial problems--$10 million and counting, according to the bankruptcy court--at a teabagger event last summer solely to embarrass her in front of potential voters. Garofoli writes that, according to the lawsuit, Wyland said, "Unfortunately, there has been a lawsuit brought by a lot of investors of modest means against her and her husband for defrauding them ... There was decision that those investors were defrauded and there is a judgment ..."
Harkey is zeroing in on the "modest means" line because many of the investors suing her husband "have substantial financial resources ... with net worths exceeding $1,000,000," Garofoli writes. "Also, all investors when subscribing to obtain their real estate investment represented that their investment amount did not exceed ten percent (10%) of their net worth... Wyland's statement is an attempt to paint a picture that Harkey somehow attempted to take advantage of 'the little guy.'"
Whether they were well off or not, litigant Kurt Sipolski finds it eeeeevil with a capital E that Dan Harkey first used the investors' own money to fight the financial elder abuse lawsuit they brought against him and then declared bankruptcy to tie up for years the $11 million judgment awarded to those who sued.
"I mean, we ARE dealing with seniors, here!" Sipolski writes in an email. "Plaintiffs have already died waiting for their money back."