Tim Prince

    In my last post, I described that I did not know much about Gary Saenz, the San Bernardino Attorney running in the recall election on November 5, 2013 in San Bernardino.  In order for Gary Saenz to be elected to fill out the remaining term of City Attorney James F. “Jim” Penman, first voters, by a majority, must vote to recall City Attorney James F. “Jim” Penman, Gary Saenz must get more votes then San Bernardino Attorney Tim Prince, and Gary Saenz must qualify for the position after his election.

    At this point, September 19, 2013, at 10:33 a.m., I have not found a campaign website for Gary Saenz.

    By searching the membership records at the State Bar of California online, I found this information:

    Gary David Sanez, State Bar Number 79539, is an active member of the State Bar of California, admitted on April 28, 1978 and active from that date on.  His undergraduate school was San Diego State University, San Diego, California, and his law school was University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law.  He has no public record of discipline, and no public record of administrative actions.

    The top result in Google for his law firm is a Facebook result. There are other similar social media sites that are largely devoid of information except for an address and a phone number.  The address of his law firm near 1oth Street and D Street, when run through the Tax Collector’s website, states that Gary Saenz owns the property as a tenant in common, with Ronald Saenz and Robert Saenz.

    This Likedin profile states that Gary Saenz is an attorney at Saenz Realty.

    What about the local media, what do they have to say about Gary Saenz?

    In a post dated September 6, 2013 at 6:40 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Ryan Hagen of the Sun posted an article named”Eight candidates qualify for San Bernardino recall election.” The article provides the following information regarding Gary D. Saenz:

    “I see a tremendous need for a competent attorney to run as the city attorney,” Saenz said. “I see a need for an attorney whose intentions are to do just that: to be an attorney for the city and not to be a politician.”

    Saenz has experience primarily in real estate law, although some cases have involved representing individuals in bankruptcy court. He said the city should hire outside attorneys who specialize in certain areas — as the city has already done with its bankruptcy case.

    “What a good manager does is rely upon other people who are skilled in administering an office, for example, and who are knowledgeable in areas where I am not as knowledgeable, such as public law,” he said. “It would be my intention to have the right staff person or contract attorney, and make sure everything that crosses the desk is a good fit for the city of San Bernardino.”

    Saenz has lived and practiced law in the city for more than 30 years and has volunteered as a library trustee, Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and other charitable organizations as well as a judge pro-tem for San Bernardino County Courts, according to his ballot statement.

    The next online information about Gary Saenz is included in an article posted on September 16, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, written by Ryan Hagen of the Sun, named “San Bernardino city attorney candidate Tim Prince called hypocritical

    The article has the following to say about Gary Saenz:

    By contrast, a 2007 policy by San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Larry Allen based on state ethics rules specifically prohibits using the term on a candidate statement that is mailed to voters, as Gary Saenz did until instructed to change it by City Clerk Gigi Hanna.

    . . .

    Saenz maintained that using the term was a technicality that should have no bearing on voters.

    “I have to maintain that this is simply not a pertinent issue to this election,” he said in an email. “It wasn’t an issue when it related to me, and I don’t feel any differently now that it involves Mr. Prince.”

    The change to Saenz’s candidate statement was one of four requested by elections officials, including a change to Prince’s statement.

    That story was in response to a story posted on September 12, 2013 at 5:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time by Ryan Hagen of The Sun, “San Bernardino city attorney candidate revises statement,” Gary Saenz is quoted:

    “To say this is a trivial matter is an understatement,” Saenz said in an email. “No one expects an attorney to keep up on laws about judges, especially when one is no longer a judge. But that doesn’t stop my opponents looking for minutia to try and create a political issue.”

    . . .

    By Ryan Hagen, The Sun

    Posted: |

    SAN BERNARDINO >> A candidate for city attorney was forced to change the statement that will be sent to voters in the recall election after the current city attorney pointed out that Gary D. Saenz was not allowed to say that for more than 10 years he had served as “judge-pro-tem.”

    Use of that title — or “temporary judge” as they’re now known — in political ballot statements is specifically forbidden on a two-page policy on temporary judges that San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Larry Allen sent to all temporary judges in 2007.

    That was several years after Saenz, who is primarily a real estate attorney, says he stopped being a judge pro tem.

    “To say this is a trivial matter is an understatement,” Saenz said in an email. “No one expects an attorney to keep up on laws about judges, especially when one is no longer a judge. But that doesn’t stop my opponents looking for minutia to try and create a political issue.”

    According to emails, Penman informed the city clerk’s office that the term was not allowed and City Clerk Gigi Hanna on Wednesday asked Saenz to remove it from his candidate statement. Saenz sent a revised statement — the same as his previous 11-sentence statement but without the sentence mentioning he had been judge pro tem — later that day.

    Saenz has said he would use deputies or contract attorneys to offer advice on specialized areas of law with which he was not familiar, and said this incident shows why a non-politician should hold the office.

    “It is politics as usual from a seat in City Hall that simply should not be political,” he said. “It is exactly why I am running – to remove the political gamesmanship from the City Attorney office.”

    I do not have access to the Sun’s archives, but Gary Saenz is mentioned in the following stories:

    The Sun, September 14, 2003, Alan Schnepf,  “Ex-Waitresses order a reunion” about Nena’s in San Bernardino,

    The Sun, April 15, 2005, David Schwartz,  “Library board looking for book budget funds” where Gary Saenz is quoted as the San Bernardino Public Library Board Vice President.

    The Sun, June 5, 2008, Robert Rogers”A symbol of possibility,” a story about Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to San Bernardino on May 29, 1968, which states in part that “When RFK visited San Bernardino on May 29, a then-16-year old Eisenhower High School student named Gary Saenz tailed the campaign, taking photos . . .”

    The Sun, February 19, 2005, David Schwartz, “Proud to be on A-list” regarding restaurant inspections, Gary Saenz is quoted.

    From public records available on the Internet, he was born in San Bernardino County in 1951.  He lives and owns a home in the 7th Ward of San Bernardino, and has lived at his present home since the mid-1990s.

    From the City’s website, he was appointed to the Library Board of Trustees by Mayor Judith Valles, and approved by the Mayor and Common Council at the January 24, 2000 meeting.  Council Member Frank Schnetz made the motion, seconded by Council Member Estrada, and the motion was unanimously carried.

    In the back-up for that meeting, Gary Saenz gave some autobiographical information.  He has lived in San Bernardino since 1951. In 2000, he was a member of the First Presbyterian Chuch of San Bernardino, a Member of the Board of Directors of the Home of Neighborly Service, and a Parkside Elementary School Council Member.  He graduated from Eisenhower High School in Rialto in 1969, San Diego State University with a BA in 1974, and the UCLA School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1977.

    Gary Saenz further stated in the application that he has been an attorney since 1978, a self-employed attorney since 1983, a “U.S. Fed. Govt. Fee Attorney for VA since 1986 – present”, a licensed California Real Estate Broker, and a “Judge Pro Tem S.B. County Courts.”

    Gary Saenz made a public comment in the Mayor and Common Council Meeting of August 4, 2000 regarding a proposed charter change (what would become Measure M on the November 2000 ballot).  The minutes, back before action minutes, stated that Gary Saenz “expressed his concerns and opposition to [proposed Charter] Section 1401, specifically the language which provides that any person appointed to the Board of Library Trustees may be removed by the affirmative vote of at least five members of the Common Council, except for purposes of censorship.”

    Gary Saenz was reappointed to the Board of Library Trustees on the September 9, 2002 Mayor and Common Council Agenda.  However, according to the September 23, 2002 minutes, the reappointment was rescinded “due to subsequent clarification showing that MR. Saenz has two years remaining on his current term.”  That vote was seven to zero, Common Council Members Esther Estrada, Susan Lien, Gordon McGinnis, Neil Derry, Joe Surarez, Betty Dean Anderson and Wendy McCammack voting aye.

    According to the current list of the Library Board of Trustees, Gary Saenz is not currently a library commissioner.

    The agenda backup for the December 20, 2004 meeting stated that Gary Saenz’s then-present Board of Library Trustees was from May 2002 to May 2006.  The agenda backup from December 18, 2006 said that Gary Saenz’s term was from May 2006 to May 2010.

    From the State of California Bureau of Real Estate database, it gives the following information on Gary David Saenz.  His mailing address is the same as for the State Bar.  He is a Broker, his license ID is 00884293, and his Broker’s license expires on March 26, 2017.  His Broker license was issued on 3/29/1985 (taken from secondary records), and he has no former names, no current DBAs, no current branches, no current affiliated corporations, no disciplinary actions, an no other public comments.

    Searching the City Clerk’s Business Registration form, which is very difficult to use, I found two current City Business Licenses for Gary D. Saenz

    Business Name Business Address Owner Name Business Phone Expiration Date STATUS
    GARY D SAENZ 1010 N D ST GARY D SAENZ (909)388-8727 10/31/2013 Active


    Business Name Business Address Owner Name Business Phone Expiration Date STATUS
    GARY D SAENZ, REAL ESTATE BROKER 1002 N D ST GARY D SAENZ (909)889-2668 03/31/2014 Active

    As far as Saenz Realty, Inc., (you can see a “Saenz Realty” sign on Google Street view at 1002 N D Street), the agent for service of process is Ronald Saenz, not Gary Saenz.  I could find no other information other than on LinkedIn regarding Gary Saenz’s involvement with Saenz Realty. Corportion Wiki, which I would not deem reliable, says that Ronald Saenz is the president of Saenz Realty, Inc.

    That is the sum total of information that I could find on City Attorney replacement candidate Gary Saenz, beyond some civil court cases which are not interesting or relevant.  The search of the online permit manager at the City’s website was unremarkable, and the database has some issues.

    Here is the first website that shows Tim Prince’s candidacy for City Attorney should the recall of City Attorney qualify.  I see that some of the readers of this blog are already connected to the site.