IRVINE (CBSLA) — Controversy after a city council candidate is caught on camera leaving his elderly disabled mom on a city sidewalk to panhandle and beg for money.
It’s angering plenty of people in the tourist hot spot of Laguna Beach who wonder how Irvine City Council candidate Dave Chey has the nerve to drive his 86-year-old mother to their town several nights a week to collect money from strangers.
They see her on busy Forest Avenue in a wheelchair with a sign asking for help.
Heidi Miller has been in business in Laguna for nearly 40 years and is so tired of Soon Chey’s panhandling she made her own sign that she puts next to her.
Miller says she’s seen Chey being dropped off by her son in a brand new car and is questioning if any of the money is being used to fund Dave Chey’s campaign.
“City council you need to be compassionate, understanding, follow the laws. All those types of things,” said Miller. “And you look at this scenario going on for 10, 12 years. Is he doing that? I don’t think so.”
CBSLA tried to talk to Dave Chey but got no answer.
Political consultant Tim Lineberger works with candidates in Orange County where homelessness is a big issue this election.
He says it’s hard to know how Chey’s mother’s panhandling might affect her son’s run for office.
“Look, this is a concerning and disturbing story. We obviously don’t know whats going on in their family and their personal life,” said Lineberger.
Laguna Beach police say that nothing that Dave Chey and his mother are doing is illegal. They say his mother is well cared for, and that when officers ask her about the situation, she says she wants to panhandle.