Georgette Gómez said that as a “queer brown woman” she reached out to Muslim members of her district when President Trump declared his travel ban. “What can I do?” she said she asked. Photo by Chris Stone

By Dave Myers

Stories continue to come out about Georgette Gómez protégé Kelvin Barrios’ illegal and unethical behavior — from multiple instances of stealing money from Democratic clubs and campaigns to being paid by a labor union with business in front of the city while still working in Gómez’s City Council office.

For the entirety of these allegations, the 9th District council candidate worked for Gómez — on her campaign and then on her City Council staff. And all the while, she continued to hire and promote him.

So it begs the question: What did Gómez know, and when did she know it?

If, as she claims, she only recently found out about Barrios’ illegal and unethical behavior, it gives me real concerns about her ability to run an office.

How can we entrust her with a bigger one if she can’t even keep her City Council office in order? How can we trust her to conduct oversight of the federal government when she can’t even oversee her own office?

If, on the other hand, she did know — as I and many others believe — it’s even worse.

Gómez’s 2016 City Council campaign was the only campaign account that Barrios had access to and didn’t steal from (that we know of). She was reportedly told of Barrios’ history of theft in 2016, and still subsequently hired him to a job requiring public trust in her City Council office.

Despite a whistleblower in her office alerting her in October of 2020 to Barrios’ poor judgment and other sources of income while working for her, she still endorsed him to replace her.

And let’s not forget that her current campaign’s field director was the president of one of the clubs Barrios stole money from at the time Barrios stole the money. And yet still — after all that — when asked by the Voice of San Diego and others what she knew, she denied it all. It doesn’t add up.

I hope the district attorney gets to the bottom of this, and quickly. Because voters deserve to know: What did Georgette Gómez know and when did she know it? But the truth is: Either answer is an indictment of her leadership.

Dave Myers is a retired commander with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. He’s also a board member with Community Advocates for Just and Moral Governance. He lives in La Mesa.