Star Moffatt’s quest to have state Sen. Scott Wilk disqualified from office was continued to June 14, Moffatt said. It was not dismissed after Friday’s court session, in which Moffatt had to show the court she had properly served Wilk.
“It’s still alive. I’m happy about that,” she said. “I was able to show that I had hired a legal process server who had served the complaint on May 20, I believe.”
Court documents list the date as May 24. Moffatt said Wilk’s representation challenged that they had never received a copy in the mail. Wilk attorney Brian Hildreth wrote in an email that no motion to dismiss has been made and that the case was continued to give Moffatt time to prove she had properly served Wilk.
“They must have neglected to read the proof of service because the process server had indicated he had put a copy in the mail,” Moffatt said.
She said she expects Wilk’s attorney to challenge the service at the next hearing, which she considers “a stall tactic.”
Hildreth disputed Moffatt’s claim. “The case was filed three years ago and was only allegedly served just days ago,” he wrote in an email. “Senator Wilk is not the one stalling. The continuance was to give the parties time to confirm that proper service had been made.”
Moffatt said, “I will be responding they obviously forgot to read the proof of service. Reading is important.”
Moffatt filed a civil complaint three years ago alleging Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) was ineligible to serve in the Senate because he was a registered federal lobbyist who had not sat out a year before seeking the office, per the state’s Government Code.
Wilk had worked for Anchor Consulting, located in Alexandria, Va., from 2007-11 doing public affairs work for then-Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon. He won election to the Assembly in 2012 and then won his Senate seat in 2016. He said three years ago that he received his last payment from Anchor in 2012.
Moffatt has countered that because she claims Wilk had never unregistered, he is ineligible to serve and must be removed from office retroactively. Wilk is more than halfway through his term.
Moffatt said Wilk’s election was fraudulent.
“Fraud can still go retroactive to disgorgement of his campaign donors’ funds,” she said. “The campaign donations he received were fraudulent for 2016 and (he’d) have to return those monies back. There’s no statute of limitations on that. If he committed fraud, there’s no statute of limitations to disgorge, request and return all taxpayer dollars (to the state) he received as far as salaries for 2016.”
State law indicates a three-year statute of limitations for fraud.
Moffatt had previously sought the county clerk’s office to join her in the suit and was under the impression the office had forwarded the matter to the county’s counsel.
Instead, she was surprised when the Gazette called about it, and she had to explain to the court’s satisfaction last week why she hadn’t properly served Wilk in the last three years.
“I think I had legitimate reasons why,” Moffatt said. “It will be up to the court to determine after that if the court still retains jurisdiction to move forward with the disqualification. …When you break the law, you break the law. If it’s found by the court that you have broken the law, then you have to pay whatever restitution the court orders you to pay.”
Hildreth called the suit “wrong on the facts, wrong on the law and wrong on the timing, but otherwise we are taking this as seriously as we would any other lawsuit that seeks to improperly use the courts to overturn the will of the voters of the 21st Senatorial District.”