Gary Woods has served on the Citrus College Board of Trustees representing Azusa since 1982, but a union president alleges that Woods doesn’t even live in Azusa, violating terms of the elected office.
John Fincher, president of the Citrus College Faculty Association, leveled allegations against Woods during Tuesday’s board meeting, claiming that Woods, who long insisted his one-bedroom Azusa apartment is his main place of residence, actually lives in an upscale Sierra Madre home.
Fincher points to California Elections Code, which states that an elected official must be domiciled in his or her district, meaning that residence is the place where habitation is fixed and where that person intends to remain. An elected official may only have one domicile, according to the code.
Representatives of the Community College Association, community college affiliate of the California Teachers Association, contracted an attorney who launched a two-month investigation into the allegations, which Fincher said has long been rumored throughout the 30 years Woods has been on the board.
Investigation information posted on firegarywoods.com shows a grant deed from April 2011 for Gary Woods and Guo Ping Wu for a property in Sierra Madre. Fincher said surveillance cameras show that nearly every morning Woods would leave his Sierra Madre home and return in the evening. Fincher said the investigation was spurred by a former United State Postal Service carrier who said he consistently dropped off mail at Woods’ Azusa residence at 450 N. Soldano Ave. to find a full mailbox that would occasionally be emptied by the owner.
“We have someone who is not properly elected and not properly domiciled in the district and does not properly represent the people of Azusa,” said Fincher.
He urged the board to investigate the allegations, which he said can lead to the board to initiate an action item for the April 2 meeting to vacate Woods’ position.
Woods, who represents Azusa and portions of Duarte in Area #1, ends his four-year term on Nov. 30. He plans to run for another term in November.
Woods brushed off the allegations as “politics” in the lead up to the November election.
“It has been a split board for a long time,” said Woods, who, along with fellow board member Ed Ortell, has often clashed with the three other board members – most recently over Citrus College President Geraldine Perri’s new contract.
Woods denied that his domicile was in Sierra Madre.
“Of all the properties I own, I have my phone here, I have my mail here and I intend to return here and stay here,” said Woods of his Azusa residence. “I think it meets all of the requirements for a domicile.”
Woods, also an attorney, added that if the board decided to retain legal counsel, he would be ready.
“If they want to take action, I’ll take action against them,” said Woods.