SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Mayor Kevin Johnson’s former aide, Lisa Serna-Mayorga, was sentenced to nine months in jail Monday and will repay $19,000 to the city of Sacramento as part of a plea deal reached with the district attorney.
In a Sacramento County courthouse Serna-Mayorga pleaded guilty to one felony charge of theft and forgery. She was accused of charging $20,000 on city credit cards, including a Disneyland trip. She allegedly stopped payment on reimbursement checks she reportedly sent the city.
“The city of Sacramento, my friends and my family, especially my husband and children, and my brother, I offer a heartfelt apology for the pain that I’ve caused and ask their forgiveness as I begin a new chapter of my life,” Serna-Mayorga tearfully said in court.
Mayor Kevin Johnson had this to say about the conviction: “Lisa Serna-Mayorga has been a close friend of mine for many years. She made some very real mistakes and is now being held accountable for them. She is taking responsibility for her actions and I am grateful that she can move forward in a positive and productive way. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family during this time.”
Sacramento City Supervisor Phil Serna, who is the brother of Serna-Mayorga, issued the following statement: “With her guilty plea today, Lisa accepts responsibility for her actions. I’m thankful the District Attorney’s office and Judge White crafted a sentence that punishes my sister but that minimizes the punishment on her children. Finally, as I’ve said before, I love my sister and always will.”
Serna-Mayorga is the daughter of former mayor and civil rights leader Joe Serna. 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.
Her conviction cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor and disqualifies her from holding any public office in California for life.