by Winston Chua
SAN GABRIEL – With well over 100 people inside the San Gabriel City Hall chamber and another 50 or so immediately outside, the San Gabriel City Council decided to challenge the qualifications of Chin Ho Liao and certify just two of the top three vote vote-getters from this year’s city council race.
Jason Pu and Kevin Sawkins were administered oaths and presented with certificates of election.
Despite adamant efforts by many of Liao’s supporters (about a dozen speakers spoke to the council on his behalf) to get him sworn in on this night, the council unanimously voted to continue an investigation of Liao’s domicile at the time he was running for the city council seat. The council decided to exercise its right to contest the qualifications of Liao, who was the overall number two vote-getter in the March contest.
San Gabriel resident Fred Paine made a convincing enough case to the council to have Liao’s qualifications be challenged, saying that Liao is and was not domiciled in the city of San Gabriel.
The council debated for some time whether or not to let a third party (in the form of a hearing officer) investigate the status of Liao further before deciding it was in the best interest that the council will decide for themselves.
Mayor Kevin Sawkins will continue to serve as mayor and Juli Costanzo will serve as vice mayor for the next 30 days.
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