San Bernardino, CA – More evidence of illegal conduct by City of San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia was revealed in a declaration submitted yesterday, May 5, 2020.

Victor Munoz signed a declaration outlining how Mayor Valdivia guaranteed him a marijuana dispensary business license if he did what he was told and contributed financially to his campaign and personal needs. He was told that it was set-up as a lottery point system and that he had to pay to increase his chances of getting a license.

Despite fulfilling all of Mayor Valdivia’s requests, Mr. Munoz was denied a license. The majority of licenses went to friends and family of Mayor Valdivia – many of which are reportedly not zoned for that type of license.

After being confronted, Mayor Valdivia became argumentative then later requested a meeting at a bar in Irvine, which is confirmed by text message correspondence. On March 4, 2019, Mr. Munoz met Mayor Valdivia at the bar. He appeared to be under the influence of cocaine and was extremely paranoid. He was joined by Councilmember Juan Figueroa and again became argumentative. Mayor Valdivia asked for more money and told Mr. Munoz that he now had to go through Councilmember Figueroa if he wanted to get a license. Mr. Munoz refused to give more money. Mayor Valdivia started yelling expletives, told him he was “done” and “cut off,” then left.

Mr. Munoz confronted the council during a regular meeting on April 3, 2019, following Councilmember Fred Shorett’s discussion on the topic of proper marijuana dispensary licensing procedures. Despite sharing that the Mayor asked for money in exchange for licenses and even offering to show proof, City Administration did not take any steps to acknowledge or address the issue. 

The declaration corroborates statements made by claimants/victims in the multiple claims and pending lawsuits against Mayor Valdivia for an array of unethical and illegal behavior, including sexual harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, and illegal campaign activities.

A copy of the declaration and supporting documentation has been submitted to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office – Public Integrity Unit for investigation.   

Allegations of illegal misconduct were shared at a news conference in February 2020

“The extent of the Mayor’s misconduct and illegal activities continues to expand as witnesses and evidence come forward. City administration should be ashamed for failing to display leadership and integrity by properly addressing these issues.”

Attorney Tristan Pelayes

The City has rejected the first two claims filed and has yet to respond to the third and fourth claims that were in March and April.