Tony Rackauckas+Miguel Pulido

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Mayor Pulido sit together at the mayor’s table at the state of the city address in June. (Photo by: Adam Elmahrek/Voice of OC).

By Adam Elmahrek
April 15, 2015 at 7:28 AM

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will be clearing Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido of any criminal wrongdoing related to a property swap between the mayor and a city contractor, according to sources with knowledge of the decision.

Revelations in late 2013 of the real estate deal, which netted Pulido a nearly $200,000 profit that a good government expert said could be construed as a bribe, led to investigations by Rackauckas’ office and the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

FPPC officials were astonished late last year when they learned that the DA’s office was terminating its investigation, according to a source familiar with both probes.

Despite the DA’s apparent decision, the FPPC will likely go ahead with plans to issue a fine to Pulido for violations of the Political Reform Act relating to an illegal gift, not disclosing the real estate interests on public filings and possibly an illegal vote, the source said.

Although the investigation remains officially ongoing, the source said DA investigators have never interviewed any potential witnesses, or given any other indications that an actual investigation has taken place.

“If they had done a thorough investigation, that’s OK I can respect that,” the source said. “To say we’re not even going to do an investigation — they just stalled the whole thing out — to me that’s no good.”

Rackauckas spokeswoman Roxi Fyad refused to address the issue when reached for comment. Pulido has also not returned a call for comment.

In late 2013, Voice of OC revealed that in 2010 Pulido had traded a parking lot in Santa Ana to the owner of NAPA Orange County Auto Parts for a house in Westminster, with the mayor receiving the house for what public records showed was $230,000 below fair market value.

Then in 2011 he voted twice to give NAPA Orange County contracts, including a $1.35 million no-bid agreement to be the city’s sole supplier of auto parts. In 2012, Pulido sold the house at a $197,000 profit.

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