Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cedar Park's Lowell Moore: Mo Jahadi's Criminal History Should Matter to Voters UPDATED

Updated to include Press Release regarding Mo Jahadi's apparent failure to comply with Ethics Commission requirements. 

The City of Cedar Park is one of many localities holding elections this Spring, and earlier this week the Austin American-Statesman reported that one of the candidates seems to have a troubling legal history.  In addition to convictions for writing bad checks and drug-related charges, candidate "Dr. Mo" Jahadi also apparently has a warrant out for his arrest in another state.

From the Statesman article:
The lawyer Jahadi has retained said he could “neither confirm nor deny” that the speeding ticket belonged to his client, and is in the process of obtaining information from the Salome Justice Court.    “We’re still ascertaining whether the person accused of speeding is Mohammad Jahadi, who’s my client, or another Mohammad Jahadi,” lawyer James Sustaita said.

Jahadi is challenging incumbent councilman Lowell Moore, who is a pretty decent, conservative guy, and I'm not sure why Jahadi doesn't like him.

Although Jahadi seems to be downplaying the unpaid ticket and subsequent warrant as no big deal, Councilman Moore has pointed out that the City of Cedar Park itself has thousands of outstanding, unpaid tickets resulting in about $3 million in lost revenue for the city.  (Moore's press release is below.) 

Most Texas municipal elections (city councils, school districts, etc,) will take place on May 10 this year, with early voting beginning Monday, April 28.  In case you are suffering from 'election confusion,' this is not the same as the Republican Primary Run-off Election.  That election takes place on May 27, with early voting beginning on May 19.  Clear as mud?  (Why is it that some folks think presenting identification to vote is a burden but having to keep track of four or five elections a year is not?  Hey, at least it's not a Labor Day election this time.)

(CEDAR PARK, TX)  On April 24, 2014 the Austin American-Statesman published an article titled, “Attorney for Cedar Park candidate questions old warrant from 1997 ticket”.  The story detailed an outstanding arrest warrant and multiple convictions of Cedar Park city council candidate Mohammed Jihadi.  The story listed the criminal history to include:

-An outstanding arrest warrant for an unpaid speeding ticket in Arizona
-A conviction for writing a bad check
-A conviction for drug possession and failing a related drug test

In the article the interviewer wrote that Mr. Jihadi said that at the time of his convictions he was a “teenager” and was “young” and “stupid”, but his most recent conviction occurred recently when he was in his twenties.  “The detailing of Mr. Jihadi’s convictions and open arrest warrant raise serious questions about his fitness for office,“ said Cedar Park Councilmember Lowell Moore.  “Being an elected member of city council is an office of public trust.  The citizens of Cedar Park expect their elected officials to live up to the highest standards of respecting the law and taking personal responsibility for their obligations to society”.

“Mr. Jihadi’s failure to pay his speeding ticket and the related arrest
warrant is something that one may easily dismiss as not being important,” said Moore.  “However, as an experienced councilmember I know that the City of Cedar Park currently has more than 3300 outstanding tickets over 10 years old that equals nearly $3 million dollars in lost revenue to the taxpayers of Cedar Park.  Collecting money from fines not only serves the purpose of exacting justice for violating the law and hazarding public safety, but also helps pay for the critical law enforcement activities that help keep Cedar Park one of the safest cities in Texas”.

“I respect the men and women in our public safety departments and our municipal court system and I know that we as citizens must honor the laws that govern our society.  It seems clear, in view of my opponent’s criminal history, that there is a stark difference between the choices voter have in this election.  I respectfully urge the voters of Cedar Park to return me to city council where I pledge to continue to craft conservative budgets, control taxes and proudly keep the police and fire departments the number one budget priority for the continued protection of the citizens of Cedar Park,” said Moore.

About Lowell Moore: 
Councilman Lowell Moore is a former Senior Vice President with a Fortune 500 Company and if given the opportunity to serve for the next two years he will continue to focus on bringing strategic economic development to our city.  He was instrumental in the development of the Cedar Park Center that now is home to the three major sports teams, over 150 events yearly, and rings thousands of visitors to our city each year.  Moore was elected to City Council in 1998 and served for four years.  He returned to the council in 2008 and presently serves on council.

Election information:
Early Voting begins on April 28 and runs through May 6.  Election Day is Saturday, May 10, 2014.
Update:  It seems that Mr. Jahadi has not complied with Ethics Commission filing requirements as of Tuesday, May 7, 2014.  Councilman Lowell Moore released the following statement:

“The Texas Ethics Commission publishes rules and regulations regarding campaign finance.  Title 15 of the Texas election code, regulates political funds and campaigns” said Cedar Park City Council Member Lowell Moore.  “Title 15 specifies what must be reported, the format of the report, and certain dates which must be met for required reports. “ One such date is 8 days prior to an election.  Opposed candidates must file a campaign finance report with the appropriate authority.  According to the City of Cedar Park, as of Tuesday May 6, Mohammad (MO) Jahadi had not filed the report required 8 days prior to the election, which was due Friday, May 2nd.  Moore said “This is an important issue and shows continued disregard for the law”.

Click here to read the full press release from Lowell Moore.

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