SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento city official has resigned her post after admitting she inappropriately made personal charges on her city-issued credit card.
Lisa Serna-Mayorga, the daughter of former mayor Joe Serna, resigned last Thursday. She could now face criminal charges.
Just to put into context the impact the Serna family has had on Sacramento, a statue of Joe Serna stands in front of old City Hall.
But now Lisa Serna-Mayorga finds herself in a credit-card controversy.
“She is someone I love dearly and has been a tremendous friend and supporter of the work that I’ve done for many years,” Mayor Kevin Johnson said at his weekly press conference Tuesday.
Johnson said he was “sad and disappointed” to learn the now former City Council operations manager admitted using a city-issued credit card for personal charges.
“I’ve known her family for a long time, but she’d be the first to say it was a lapse of judgment,” Johnson said.
But that lapse of judgment has the city manager’s office and the Sacramento Police Department discussing if Serna-Mayorga should be charged with a crime.
She admitted to wrongly charging thousands of dollars on her city-issued credit card. According to the Sacramento Bee, one of the charges was for a family trip to Disneyland.
“There was $3,000 (in charges) that were personal that needed to be paid back. She immediately did that,” Johnson said. “There was another check that was paid back. I don’t know what all the dollars were.”
The Sacramento Bee reported that an additional inquiry resulted in Serna-Mayorga paying back an additional $6,000.
Johnson was asked if he treated her differently because of their relationship.
“I think Lisa understands, and I think we all understand this, having a personal relationship is one thing but … everyone in the city must hold ourselves to a very high standard when it comes to public trust, and this is the issue here,” he said. “That was not appropriate at it’s been violated whether I know the person or not.”
The city now plans a complete department-wide audit starting in September, but it is unclear when it will be completed.
“We’re going to be looking at credit card use across the entire city,” city Auditor Jorge Oseguera said.
Nobody answered the door at Serna-Mayorga’s home and somebody inside quickly closed the blinds when we arrived.
Her brother Phil Serna, a Sacramento County supervisor, released this statement: “I love my sister. I’m only aware of what has been reported in the local media concerning the circumstances of her resignation.”
CBS13 submitted a public records act request for all of Serna-Mayorga’s charges on that city credit card.