Fellow, felony: Bites would rather be telling this story the other way around—first the politics and then the grand theft, forgery and embezzlement. But, perhaps fortunately for Julio Velazquez, his chronology starts with the corruption before it ever gets to the … well, the other, more tolerated kind of corruption.
Velazquez is the just-graduated California State University, Sacramento, alum who was charged last month with 16 felony crimes, 14 of which were forgery. The Sacramento County district attorney’s office accused him of stealing $18,125 over a period of two years from the Associated Students over at CSUS. For a time, Velazquez, now 25 ripe years old, was in charge of a $160,000-per-year budget to fund student leadership activities and award dollars to campus clubs. Instead, according to the court file, he assumed aliases and made checks out to himself. $1,500 here. $750 there.
The politics? Well, Velazquez was, until just recently, a Senate fellow, working in the hallowed halls under the Capitol dome for none other than Sacramento Senator and Secretary of State-hopeful Deborah Ortiz. CSUS’s previously prestigious fellows program launches the careers of many politicians and Capitol staffers.
Velazquez was also previously president of the inaugural chapter of the Epsilon Sigma Rho Fraternity—in which he was known as “Sho-Time.” Doesn’t quite have the same ring as “the Hammer,” but it’s a start.
The whipper-snapper ticket: Speaking of budding pols, reader Don Winters reacted to our column last week about would-be Davis City Council member Rob Roy (see “Man on fire,” SN&R Bites, February 16), by penning a reminder that Roy is not the only young person seeking elected office in Davis.
“Lest your readers are misled into thinking all young city council candidates in Davis ‘drink urine-laced beer or light their pubes on fire,’ one young man in Davis, 27-year old Lamar Heystek is making a serious 2nd bid to fill a city council seat.”
Not at all, Don. Bites only meant that the most interesting candidates do those things.
In fact, Bites couldn’t find anything too seedy about Heystek, though the campaign is still young. He’s worked as a clerk at Safeway, was a vocal opponent to Measure X (which would have approved Covell Village) and already sits on a bunch of local boards and commissions. “Lamar has all the hallmarks of a dedicated public servant and inspirational leader for the next generation of citizens and voters,” wrote Winters.
To be honest, Bites is reluctant to endorse the candidacy of any goody-two-shoes. But if messieurs Roy and Heystek can get 20-somethings to the polls, it’s all good.
Preposterous proposition: Then there’s Earl Withycombe, who, while one of the hepper cats that Bites knows, is no babe in the woods. In fact, he’s a scientist and an accomplished bullshit detector—serving on the board of Breathe California and as the treasurer of the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS).
Like most of us, Withycombe gets a lot of e-mails from certain Nigerian businessmen with financial offers that sound too good to be true.
But he was surprised last week to get an actual call at work from a real live person, claiming to be a Nigerian businessman, with a lucrative proposition.
“I didn’t understand what he was saying at first,” Withycombe said, explaining that the man had a thick accent. “He asked if I was the treasurer of ECOS.” Then he asked for $50,000. “He said I could expect a significant return. I told him I didn’t have $50,000.”
Withycombe laughed and hung up the phone, wondering how the caller came up with his name and number. “I guess he thought I was in charge of a treasury.”