Councilman Resigns After Federal Indictment

( – Facing a federal indictment involving possession and use of false immigration documents, conspiracy and obstruction of agency proceedings, and a pandemic relief fraud scheme, Sacramento City Councilman Sean Loloee resigned under pressure from the mayor and the council on January 4. He blamed a circus environment created by the Sacramento mayor to cover his own political shortcomings.

Resignation via YouTube and X

Loloee posted an almost seven-minute video on X, formerly Twitter, explaining why he’s resigning and listing the accomplishments he helped the city to achieve during his term. He cited Mayor Daryl Steinberg’s calls for his resignation because of criminal indictments and questions about his residency as disingenuous, especially considering that Steinberg stood by two other Council members accused of misconduct while in office.

Loloee’s video referred to the fact that city officials have questioned his residency since he took the oath of office in 2020 when he attended the swearing-in ceremony via video feed from his wife’s $1.4 million home in Granite Bay, a subdivision outside his jurisdiction. Yet, Loloee registered to vote and claimed to live in a house in the Del Paso Heights subdivision of District 2, a lower-income area.

Police have visited the Hagginwood neighborhood house the councilman claims as his residence several times, responding to complaints about loud parties and gunfire. Aerial photos of the house showed at least a dozen work trucks and other vehicles surrounding the home, including a small backhoe.

In California, council members must reside in the district they represent by law. City councils can vote to vacate the seats of members who live outside their districts, and those members could face criminal charges for voter fraud and perjury.

Federal Charges

In a December 15 press release, the Justice Department (DOJ) detailed 25 counts in its indictment against Loloee and Karla Montoya, who serves as his general manager at the chain of Viva Supermarkets owned by Loloee. The DOJ claimed that since 2008, the pair entered into a conspiracy to hire a majority of illegal workers at the store chain to reduce labor costs, including by refusing to pay overtime wages.

The Department of Labor also claimed that the pair sought to obstruct investigations in 2020 in various ways, like monitoring employee interviews with agents, influencing employee answers, lying to investigators, instructing employees to lie to agents, and directing workers to hide from investigators, making them unavailable for questioning. The Department of Labor charges that Loloee provided false documents obstructing its investigations in at least three instances.

Additionally, the indictment alleged that Loloee defrauded the government when he fraudulently applied to receive pandemic relief funding from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) Program, part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act. Loloee submitted RRF applications through the Small Business Administration (SBA), asking for over $2.2 million in relief based on substantially underreported store receipts. The SBA awarded $1.2 million.

Steinberg commented only to wish Loloee well and to say he believed the former councilman made the right decision. He suggested that the council wait to choose a replacement until after the election on March 4, 2024, among multiple candidates. He recommended that if one candidate secured a majority of the votes, the council could vote to install that person immediately rather than waiting until December 2024. If a run-off election becomes necessary, the mayor would advocate appointing an interim member to the vacancy.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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