May 25, 2014. Santa Barbara, CA. It could have been a simple accidental death due to a drunk driver with double the legal limit of alcohol in his system. But the driver who killed the 27-year-old pedestrian happened to be a staffer for powerful US Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA). According to a lawsuit filed by the victim’s parents, the death became a cover-up as soon as Capps and her staff began committing criminal acts to protect their fellow co-worker.
Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) campaigns with staffer Raymond Morua. Image courtesy of The Daily Mail.
UC Santa Barbara graduate Mallory Rae Dies was killed by Raymond Morua in December when she crossed the street and was struck by Morua’s car. The driver’s blood alcohol registered .17, more than double the legal limit. It took five months however before the driver finally pled guilty to the accident and then to fleeing the scene in what became an 80mph high-speed police chase. But the victim’s family isn’t satisfied. After witnessing the evils of homicide and government corruption first-hand over the tragedy, they’ve just filed a civil lawsuit against Raymond Morua, Rep. Lois Capps, and the US government.
The long sordid details
Raymond Morua is an Iraq War veteran who applied for a job as a Congressional staffer for US Rep. Lois Capps in 2011. He was first hired as an unpaid intern, but only months later put on the payroll as an official employee. One year later in 2012, Capps herself was caught hiding over a half million dollars in unreported income from her two government pensions. It was Capps’ third such offense.
As reported by The Daily Caller at the time, Rep. Capps was caught in 2007 for hiding the assets from two mutual funds the Congresswoman owned. She also failed to report income paid by a live-in staffer for more than a decade, only admitting to the fraudulent activity in 2012. Reporting on the story for the Santa Barbara Independent was a journalist named Chris Meagher, remember that name.
In the midst of all that controversy, Rep. Lois Capps hired Raymond Morua as a low-level staffer, claiming to have performed only the House mandated check of provided references. No criminal background check, nothing. Otherwise, Representative Capps would have known that she was hiring a chauffeur whose driver’s license was suspended due to two hit-and run convictions, DUI convictions and even a criminal embezzlement conviction. But Morua was a good-looking man, especially when dressed in his military uniform, which he wore each time he personally accompanied the Congresswoman at her campaign events.
On December 6, 2013, all those people, elected officials and news outlets would find their paths crossing again during a holiday party thrown by the local newspaper the Santa Barbara Independent. As reported by Peter Lance.com - the freelance journalist that broke the story - according to a text message sent by Raymond Morua an hour or so before the death of Mallory Dies, he was working at the newspaper’s party for Rep. Capps along with Capps’ new Press Secretary, Chris Meagher, the same Chris Meagher who exposed Rep. Capps’ criminal financial oversights the previous year for none other than the Santa Barbara Independent, the same newspaper throwing the lavish, open-bar party for Congresswoman Capps.
After three hours and an admitted eight alcoholic drinks, Morua left the party and proceeded to hit and kill 27-year-old Mallory Dies as she crossed the street. Morua was observed exiting his vehicle, looking down at the victim, jumping back into his SUV and speeding away at 80mpg. He was taken into custody after crashing during the ensuing high-speed police chase.
The criminal cover-up
While local media investigations and Congressional reports all exonerate everyone involved except Raymond Morua, the victim’s parents are determined to bring all the guilty parties to justice for their attempted cover-up of the crimes involved. And based on the findings of local journalist Peter Lance, many of which are part of the family’s suit, there are plenty of guilty people to go after.
Based on the tone of Morua’s attorney, if Raymond Morua is going down, he’s taking Rep. Lois Capps and her staff with him. “The loyalties surrounding this tragedy are extremely incestuous,” Morua’s lawyer Darryl Denis told local media outlets, “particularly when you consider that my client, Raymond Morua, was with Lois Capps’ Press Secretary, Chris Meagher, at the party.”
Immediately after the tragic death, Capps’ staff publicly distanced themselves from Morua, insisting that he stole the Congresswoman’s party invitation off her desk without her knowledge and then attended the party as a private citizen, not as a surrogate for Rep. Capps. Morua’s own text messages in the hours before the tragedy claim the exact opposite however. Privately, behind closed doors, Capps’ Congressional staff was doing everything they could, legally and illegally, to protect their fellow staffer.
In addition to being accused of forging Morua’s signature on federal documents aimed at letting him serve his time in a Veterans hospital instead of a California state prison, the staffers also insist he was fired on December 8th even though the Congresswoman’s payroll records show he worked there beyond that date.
The latest outrage emanating from this scandal comes in the form of a statement by Congresswoman Capps’ Press Secretary Chris Meagher. The same journalist who exposed Rep. Capps’ corruption a year before while working for the newspaper that one year later over-served her new co-worker Raymond Morua at the party the night Dies was killed, insists everyone should leave her new boss alone. According to Meagher, “The congresswoman knows what it is like to lose a child and no parent should have to experience that.”
Rep. Capps lost her own daughter in 2000, and as sad as that is, the staff is obviously using that to change the subject from cover-ups and corruption to sympathy and empathy. Will it work? With the government refusing to investigate or prosecute their own, it’s up to a civil lawsuit brought by the victim’s parents to get to the truth. Stay tuned.
Support Indy-Media - Support Whiteout Press