Assembly candidate’s wife files suit against husband’s opponent for allegedly publicizing her Social Security number
By André Coleman 11/01/2012
Candidates in the race for the state’s first majority Asian-American Assembly district could end up in court after Tuesday’s election, following the release of campaign mailers containing personal information, the Weekly has learned.
On Friday, lawyers for Joy Y.C. Lin, wife of candidate Dr. Matthew Lin, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against her husband’s opponent, Edwin Chau, alleging invasion of privacy and negligence.
Lin, a Republican, and Chau, a Democrat, are squaring off for the seat in the 49th Assembly District, which includes Alhambra, East San Gabriel, El Monte, North El Monte, South El Monte, Glendora, Monterey Park, San Gabriel and San Marino.
According to the lawsuit, the Chau campaign sent out mailers on Oct. 18 to tens of thousands of people asserting the Lins had failed to pay state and county taxes. The documents revealed information about several tax liens against the family. All of the liens have been cleared, according to the lawsuit.
The mailer, which displayed an aerial photo of the Lin family’s home, also included Joy Lin’s Social Security number. She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages above $25,000 for emotional distress, impairment of reputation and standing in the community, as well as personal humiliation, mental anguish and suffering, according to the suit. The lawsuit also cites the potential for future damages in the form of identity theft.
“She was shocked,” Lin campaign spokesperson Miryam Mora said of Joy Lin’s reaction. “She has had to check all of her accounts to make sure none of them were compromised. She is not running for office, and her personal information is contained in ads on Youtube and on television.”
Neither Chau nor his staff responded to requests for comment made to his campaign office and personal email address.
Lin led a field of three in the June 5 primary, capturing 52.2 percent of the vote to Chau’s 34.9 percent. Mitchell Ing finished third.
Since Jan. 1, Lin has raised $893,000. Chau has raised $645,000, with $100,000 coming in the form of personal loans.