SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Parents of a Santa Barbara woman killed by a drunk-driving congressional aide have filed a federal lawsuit against the driver, Democratic Congresswoman Lois Capps, and the U.S. government.
Santa Barbara news station KEYT reports (http://bit.ly/QxF4jh ) that the wrongful death suit was filed by attorney Robert Stoll who is representing Matt and Raeona Dies.
Their daughter, 27-year-old Mallory Dies, was struck and killed by 32-year-old Raymond Morua in downtown Santa Barbara in December.
Authorities say Morua was leaving a party Friday when he hit Dies, who wasn’t in a crosswalk but was crossing legally.
Morua has pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and fleeing the scene of the crime.
The suit claims that Capps hired Morua as a field representative despite being aware of two DUI convictions and failed to monitor him. Morua was fired after the incident.
Court records show he has two prior DUI arrests, a hit-and-run and an embezzlement conviction.
“Mr. Morua has said under oath, under penalty of perjury, that he was on the job,” Stoll said. Adding that if that’s the case, “then Lois Capps is responsible.”
Capps called the incident a tragedy. She’s maintained that Morua was not working for her the night of the incident and has also tightened her hiring procedures.
“My heart goes out to the family of the victim,” Capps said. “I lost a daughter way before her time and it’s a heartache.”
Dies was on life support for several days after she was hit. Stoll says the couple wants to get some of their expenses paid.
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