Hudson v. Super. Ct.Annotate this Case
In 2009, petitioner Sandra Hudson, acting as secretary of the board of directors for the Palo Verde Healthcare District (PVHD), voted to approve two contracts between PVHD and Hussain Sahlolbei, M.D. One pertained to “Surgical Services Directorship with Dr. Sahlolbei,” and the other was called the “Surgery On-Call Agreement with Dr. Salolbei.” At the time of petitioner’s vote on the contracts, Dr. Sahlolbei was renting a residence that was owned at least in part by petitioner’s husband. Petitioner received Dr. Sahlolbei’s rent checks at times, and that at least some of those checks were deposited into an account petitioner and her husband shared. In 2008, petitioner disclosed the rented property on her “Form 700” and explained that it was her husband’s separate property. However, her Form 700 filings in 2009 through 2013 failed to disclose any interest in the property. In 2014, real party in interest, the State, filed a complaint charging petitioner with a single count of violating of Government Code section 1090. Petitioner was arraigned on the single-count complaint. A grand jury later returned an indictment against petitioner. The indictment contained the original count for violation of Government Code section 1090 and added a second count under the same statute. Petitioner moved to set aside the indictment, arguing then as on appeal here, that she was not “financially interested in” PVHD?s contracts with Dr. Sahlolbei, invoked the Williamson rule, and attacked the timeliness of all but the two Penal Code section 115 counts. The trial court dismissed one of the Penal Code section 115 counts (count three) as time-barred, it otherwise denied petitioner’s motion under Penal Code section 995. The trial court agreed with petitioner that the tolling allegations in the complaint and the indictment were deficient but allowed the State leave to amend so they could add more detail to their tolling allegations. The Court of Appeal reviewed the petition, determined it may have merit, stayed the action in the trial court, and requested an informal response. Having considered the informal response and a reply, the Court determined that petitioner may have established a right to relief and set an order to show cause on two of the three issues petitioner raised. The Court subsequently reviewed the return and traverse and concluded the petition succeeds as to issues concerning the rule set forth in “Williamson,” (43 Cal.2d 651 (1954), but it failed with respect to petitioner’s complaints about the State’s allegations regarding tolling of the statute of limitations. The Court therefore granted relief only in part.