The alleged theft of federal funds by the husband of Representative Linda Sánchez (D-Lakewood) is believed to be behind her decision to drop out of the race for Democratic caucus chair due to an “unexpected family matter.”
Sánchez, whose 38th Congressional District is mostly made up of southeastern Los Angeles County communities but does include the northwestern Orange County city of La Palma, is married to James Sullivan, who is among five people charged in two federal grand jury indictments announced today by the U.S. Attorney in New Haven, Connecticut, according to the Washington Times.
Sullivan and his co-defendants pleaded not guilty to theft and conspiracy charges today and were released on bail, but U.S. Attorney John Durham alleges they used a Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Corp. account as a “secret slush fund.”
Durham cited $800,000 worth of trips to the Kentucky Derby and other locations connected to the public company, which has received more than $9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Representative John B. Larson (D-Connecticut) introduced Sánchez to Sullivan in 2007, and on April 13, 2009, they married in Larson’s district office. Exactly one month later, Sánchez gave birth to her first son, Joaquin Sánchez Sullivan. James Sullivan had three sons from a previous marriage, and Linda Sánchez had also been married before.
She is, of course, the sister of former congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), who was first elected in 1996 after shockingly and historically dispensing with bombastic veteran lawmaker “B-1” Bob Dornan (R-Garden Grove).
With Linda Sánchez’s first election to what was then the 39th district in 2002, she and Loretta Sanchez became the first and only sister pair to serve in Congress. Dubbed the “Sister Act,” they co-wrote Dream in Color: How the Sánchez Sisters Are Making History in Congress, which was published in 2008.
Linda Sánchez, who is currently vice chair of the Democratic caucus, handily defeated Republican Ryan Downing to win reelection on Tuesday.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.