Dodger Blue Flu: Asm. Jimmy Gomez called in sick to floor session for Dodgers opening day
A Democratic lawmaker called in sick for Monday’s floor session of the State Assembly to attend the Los Angeles Dodgers opening day.
Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles caught the Dodger Blue Flu.
When the State Assembly reconvened from its spring break on April 6, Gomez was conspicuously absent. The presiding officer cited illness as the reason for his excused absence.
After several days of ignoring CalNewsroom.com’s requests for comment about his absence, Gomez’s office came clean, admitting that the LA lawmaker attended the game. The office claimed the sick note was due to a clerical error.
“We submitted the wrong form letter,” John Scribner, Gomez’s chief of staff, told CalNewsroom.com on Thursday. “We corrected and filed the new letter to be away for personal business – NO per diem. Murphy’s Law can still reach up and bite us if we aren’t careful about form letters.”
Scribner, an all-star Capitol chief of staff, took “responsibility for the foul up.”
Asm. Jimmy Gomez: Dodgers game over constituents
While Gomez’s staff can take the error on the excuse, it doesn’t explain why a state lawmaker would put baseball over his constituents.
“The Dodgers are an important part of our community,” Scribner said. “It is literally in his district as are many of the employees.”
It is unclear whether Gomez attended as the guest of any special interest groups, which routinely provide lawmakers with free tickets to sporting events. In 2014, Gomez accepted more than $16,100 in free gifts, including an $11,000 junket to Chile and a $200 ticket to a Dodgers game.
The L.A. Dodgers didn’t disappoint Gomez or other members of Monday’s sell-out crowd, which faced new restrictions as part of the LAPD’s crackdown on tailgating. Jimmy Rollins’ three-run home run in the eighth pushed the Dodgers past the San Diego Padres, 6-3.
Gomez’s illness at Dodgers Stadium follows last December’s measles outbreak at Disneyland. It is unclear whether the Capitol’s herd immunity has been compromised or how many other lawmakers are at risk.
— Jimmy Gomez (@JimmyGomezCA) April 7, 2015