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LA Times: San Gabriel council deems itself judge over election results

Officials hold their own hearing — with sworn witnesses — to decide if the second-highest vote-getter should be seated because of a local-residency challenge.

April 27, 2013|By Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times

San Gabriel Councilman-elect Chin Ho Liao was the second highest vote-getter in the city’s March elections, but his first time on the council dais last week was as a witness under cross-examination.

The City Council voted not to seat Liao after resident Fred Paine filed a complaint alleging that Liao’s true residence is outside of the city’s borders. Though Liao has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court to contest the council’s vote, the city has also created its own hearing process to determine Liao’s residency.

Liao’s attorney Nilay Vora said that Liao has always intended to move permanently to San Gabriel and argued that Liao was not simply renting apartments within city borders, that he was living in them as well.

Vora subpoenaed three neighbors who testified that they had met Liao, regularly saw his car parked at the building and heard his movements in the apartment through shared walls. Liao also submitted a receipt from a moving company and described his possessions, among other evidence.

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