Congressional candidate previously arrested for assault and battery and stalking
The primary election is still six months away, but the battle for Rep. Ken Calvert’s congressional district already has turned bitter for two Democratic candidates.
Julia Peacock used social media to spread word of fellow Democrat Norman Quintero’s past arrests. She even posted his Florida police mugshot on Facebook.
“Question: Would a man arrested for domestic violence who violated the restraining order and who was also arrested for cyberstalking get your vote for Congress as a protector of women? Asking for a friend,” Peacock wrote on her personal Facebook page in reference to Quintero.
A former Riverside County Democratic Party chairman is even intervening on Quintero’s behalf.
Howard Katz, who still serves on the county Democratic Central Committee, approached this publication about Peacock’s online comments, saying Quintero wanted to discuss his side of things.
“He has been absolved of all these things in public record,” Katz insisted.
Peacock, Quintero, Democrat Thomas Price and independent Matt Woody have filed paperwork to run against Calvert, R-Corona, in California’s 42nd Congressional District, which includes Corona; Norco; Eastvale; Menifee; Wildomar; Lake Elsinore; Murrieta and part of Temecula.
Court records from Orange County, Florida, show Quintero, who now lives in Lake Mathews, was arrested for battery in July 2002. At the time, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported that Quintero, who was running for a school board seat, was arrested after a fight with his wife that started when she smoked in their home.
“The wife complained that Quintero grabbed her arm,” the Sentinel reported. “A witness, one of the couple’s eight children, said he was present when his parents argued but that the fight did not become physical.”
Quintero also was arrested in August 2002 for violating a pretrial release condition stemming from the same incident, according to records.
And in February 2012, Quintero was arrested by Orlando, Florida, police on a charge of stalking – dating violence. According to the arrest affidavit, a woman said she had an intimate relationship for four years with Quintero, her employer at the time, and that he “contacted (her) against her will” after the relationship ended and she stopped working for him.
Prosecutors declined to proceed with the stalking case, and Quintero’s arraignment on the battery charge was canceled, records show. All criminal cases against Quintero in Orange County, Florida are closed, according to records.
The woman said Quintero, who showed up her residence and sent text messages, also threatened her family in Mexico and threatened to call immigration on her, the affidavit read, adding she called police after seeing Quintero was a passenger in a Jeep in her driveway.
Now a pastor, real estate broker and licensed mental health clinician, Quintero denied grabbing his wife and said the charges stem from a messy divorce that followed him from Texas to Florida.
He denied stalking his former employee and said he never had a romantic relationship with her. The charge of violating a pretrial release condition, Quintero said, was a mistake caused by a lag in paperwork after the battery charge was dismissed.
Court records show Quintero pleaded no-contest to the pretrial release violation. Quintero said he did that to get out of jail and noted the judge withheld adjudication in the case.
“We live in a country in which you’re not guilty until proven by the court of law,” Quintero said. “And anyone has the right to call the police and launch any type of accusation.”
Quintero gave this publication a copy of his divorce decree from May 2012. In it, a Florida judge found Quintero’s wife “contributed to the partial destruction of the husband’s career and church earning ability by her behavior during this protracted divorce litigation in two states.”
On his campaign website, Quintero touts his charitable work, saying he “has initiated and continues to fund a number of programs to help families in need, including a food bank, a soup kitchen, a food program for the homeless, mental counseling services, and provides toys for children of low income families.”
Peacock, who lives outside Corona and teaches high school in Perris, declined to comment for this report. But on Facebook, she has attacked Quintero as a “false prophet” and fake Democrat.
“We have to get this information out,” she wrote in response to a comment on her Facebook post. “I don’t want anyone to be swindled by the words ‘pastor’ or ‘democrat’ or taken in by his hispanic last name.”
In another comment, she wrote: “I don’t have a huge issue with mistakes of the past, but I have a huge issue with lying about it now. That’s dishonest. We’ve had enough of that in our district with Calvert. We don’t need another self-serving hypocrite in office ‘representing’ us.”
Peacock also posted Quintero’s mugshot from 2012.
Woody, the independent in the race, said: “I think this election is about integrity. … All of the candidates in the race are going to have to answer as to their integrity. That’s one area where Ken Calvert has clearly failed for 25 years.”
Regarding Peacock, Quintero said: “I’m not the one applying (Donald) Trump’s playbook on politics of raising false allegations and statements and against others, the playbook that cost Democrats the last presidential election.”
He added: “My message is very very simple in nature. I can bring change to American politics … change fueled by my desire to bring American values of diversity and inclusion.”