Van Tran should drop his Congressional Run. And maybe resign.

On August 2, 2009, Westminster City Councilman Andy Quatch, a fundraiser for and political protege of Asm. Van Tran, an Orange County Republican who is challenging Loretta Sanchez for her Congressional Seat, crashed into an electrical pole and was detained on suspicion of DUI.

Apparently, this made the Assemblyman scared.  He had to come to the aid of his friend, even if it meant interrupting a police field sobriety test.  Check out the audio:

Asm. Tran claims to be Quatch’s attorney (don’t know if he actually is, but he uses it as a pretext to involve himself in the matter).  In case you can’t watch the video, here’s a transcript of the audio exchange between Tran and the presiding officer.  Tran tries to involve himself three times, and the officer eventually has to threaten Tran with arrest to get him to back off while the sobriety test is being interfered with:

Officer:  Yeah, can I help you?

Tran: Yeah, I’m with Andy.

Officer:  Okay, well, you’ll have to let them do their job right now.

Tran:  I’m his lawyer.

Officer:  He’s doing a field sobriety test right now, okay?  Can I ask you to stand back over here?

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  Sir?  You’re going to need to back up a little bit, okay?

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  Right now.  Please back up.

Tran:  Okay.  How far do you want me…?

Officer:  I want you back by that car over there.

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  Sir, I’ve asked you to back up over there.

Tran:  I’m his lawyer!

Officer:  I don’t care who you are.  I understand that, you need to back up over here.

Tran:  I’m not interfering.

Officer:  You are interfering.  I’m going to warn you, a field sobriety test officer, it’s very obvious.

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  You need to stand over there.  If you come back over here again, I’m going to have you arrested.  I’m not going to stand by this car.

Tran:  (unintelligible)

A couple of things to point out here.  First of all, if Tran is an attorney, he should know that he can certainly monitor an investigation with due cause involving a client, but he can’t interfere with it.  Secondly, though–and more importantly–this type of influence-peddling on behalf of someone who had just cut power to 300 local residents by crashing into a utility pole does not speak well about Asm. Tran’s character and what type of Congressman he would be.

You can see the take written up by Chris Prevatt at The Liberal OC for more info about the Van Tran vs. Loretta Sanchez race, and just how fast Van Tran’s star has fallen.

And incidentally–rumor has it that there’s an attractive Democratic candidate out there who will be running to fill Van Tran’s open seat.  I’m looking forward to bringing you more on that.

7 thoughts on “Van Tran should drop his Congressional Run. And maybe resign.”

  1. It is unlawful for an officer to require someone to participate in a field sobriety test.  (If the defendant refuses, that refusal cannot be used in court.)  Field sobriety tests as administered in California have zero scientific value.  Officers perform tests that are not valid.  Officers are generally not trained to perform the three tests that are of some validity.

    An attorney has every right to advise his client to cease co-operating with a field sobriety test.  The officer who interfered and told the attorney to stand away committed a misdemeanor.  (It’s in the Penal Code.)

    Mind you, I am no fan of Republicans in Westminster, but let’s make sure he did something wrong.  The fact that a cop is arrogant and places himself above the law is no reason to criticize the attorney.

    Find out who the cop is and see if he is going to be prosecuted.

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