Manh Nguyen has been somewhat candid about his unconventional relationship with his estranged wife. But questions about the San Jose City Council candidate’s marital status have prompted an erstwhile acquaintance to file a complaint with the city’s Ethics Commission.
Criminal defense attorney Minh Steven Dovan compiled a stack of legal papers—bankruptcy filings, a notarized deed and campaign finance forms—that indicate Nguyen sometimes claims he’s married and other times not.
“That’s perjury,” Dovan says, repeating the allegations listed in the ethics complaint he filed Monday. He further derided the candidate for a mailer—paid for by an independent committee, it should be noted—that depicts him as a family man, despite his non-traditional family unit(s).
San Jose Inside has reported before that, while still legally married, Nguyen has been technically separated from his wife for at least a decade. His campaign dismissed Dovan’s complaint as “specious.” On Tuesday, Nguyen issued a statement denouncing negative campaign tactics.
“This is the kind of deception and negative campaigning that makes voters tune out of politics and prevents good people from running for office,” said Nguyen, who runs his own Vietnamese-language broadcast and newspaper company—which also funds his campaign.
Nguyen is running against state legislative aide Tim Orozco—who has own personal issues after being popped twice for DUI—in the June 23 special election to replace Kansen Chu, who left District 4 for a seat in the Assembly.