SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The late Joe Serna was Mr. Sacramento. The former mayor and civil rights leader has a city center and a school named after him. But Tuesday, not far from where Serna made his legacy, his daughter sat in jail.

He was known as “everybody’s mayor.” Now his daughter is accused of using everybody’s money but her own to take family trips and buy expensive items for herself – all on the taxpayers’ dime.

She was charged with five felonies on Tuesday for alleged misuse of a city-issued credit card. According to the criminal complaint, she racked up more than $19,000 in unauthorized charges then stopped payments on checks that were supposed to reimburse the city.

Lisa Serna-Mayorga is accused of doing everything Joe Serna was so very much against.

A champion of honest politics and transparency, Serna was the first Latino mayor in modern day history for the city of Sacramento. He fought side by side with civil rights labor champion Cesar Chavez.

He served 11 years as a councilman and seven as mayor. He’s credited with revitalizing downtown, improving schools and leading the charge to get rid of corruption.

Joe Serna died in office in November 1999. His son Phil is a Sacramento County supervisor.

He’s following in his dad’s footsteps but isn’t saying much about his sister. He did issue a brief statement, saying, “I loved my sister before this incident, I love her now, and I will continue to do so as she deals with this.”

“This” is something the people of Sacramento are not used to hearing – a Serna caught in a storm of alleged corruption.


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