Magdalena Carrasco’s campaign on Thursday accused San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos of hiring a private investigator to follow her and her children.
In a press release, Carrasco claimed that one of her neighbors was approached by Bob Pifferini Jr., a Scotts Valley private investigator, to secretly take pictures of the candidate and her children at their home on Campos’ behalf.
“Subsequently, the investigator has been spotted tailing Magdalena to her children’s school, her mother’s home, her campaign office and even to her home,” the campaign said.
Campos’ political campaigns have been accused of worse.
In 2010, Carrasco lost the District 5 primary by just 20 votes after a fraudulent political mailer depicted her as a proud communist to Vietnamese voters. Late last year, a grand jury indicted ex-county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. in connection with the mailer, and a search warrant of his home turned up evidence that appears to link Campos’ then-campaign treasurer Linda Delgado to producing the mailers. Campos invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering grand jury questions on the matter.
Carrasco’s campaign called the hiring of the private investigator not only unseemly but also a campaign violation. Campos “has not reported the private investigator’s expense on his campaign reports as required by law,” according to the press release.
"We have no comment at this time," said Garrett Radcliffe, a council assistant in Campos' office.
Pifferini could not be immediately reached for comment.
Carrasco's campaign went on to note in its release the Fair Political Practices Commission’s ongoing investigation into Campos’ 2010 campaign, as well as his use of registered lobbyist Ed McGovern as a campaign consultant in that race.
McGovern was not paid for his work in the race but received tens of thousands of dollars from Campos’ sister, Nora Campos, who was running for her State Assembly seat during the same time period.