State Rep. Angel Cruz: Not my idea to fire sister from staff

Rep. Angel Cruz (left) says the Democratic leadership in the state House fired his sister after criminal charges were brought against Rep. J.P. Miranda (right) and Miranda's sister in an alleged "ghost employee" scam. (File photos)

From today's Clout column:

The arrests last week of state Rep. J.P. Miranda and his sister in an alleged ghost-employee scam prompted the state House Democratic Caucus to have two staff members review the status of more than 700 employees.

Their quest: determine if any House Democrats have family members on their staffs.

State Rep. Angel Cruz's sister, who had been on his payroll for nearly a decade, got her walking papers after the Miranda bust.

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody "suggested" the firing, according to Dermody's spokesman, Bill Patton.

Cruz, who didn't return our calls last week or this week, went on the Spanish-language El Zol-1340AM last Friday to counter that claim. Cruz said the Democratic leadership fired his sister due to the "chaos" that Miranda's arrest caused.

Cruz also suggested that other House Democrats were having relatives fired in the same way.

Patton said House Democratic rules prevent members from hiring spouses, children, siblings or parents. So far, no other relatives like that have been found, said Patton, adding that the review would be finished today.