City Beat

Sacramento Councilman Allen Warren running for re-election

Sacramento Councilman Allen Warren announced Thursday he is seeking re-election in his north Sacramento district. A former staffer dropped her sexual harassment claim against Warren last month.
Sacramento Councilman Allen Warren announced Thursday he is seeking re-election in his north Sacramento district. A former staffer dropped her sexual harassment claim against Warren last month. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Just over a month after a former aide dropped her sexual harassment claim against him, Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren announced Thursday he is running for a second term to represent North Sacramento.

In a statement released by his campaign, Warren touted new businesses in his economically challenged district and the launch of Shot Spotter technology that helps police track and respond to gunfire in Del Paso Heights.

“I knew District 2, where I grew up, had many challenges,” Warren said in the statement. “We needed safer streets, better health care, cleaner neighborhoods and parks for families, and basic amenities like a local, full-service grocery store.”

“I’m proud of what we’ve done together,” he added.

In July, former Warren staff aide Delia Chacon filed a claim with the city alleging the councilman had threatened to fire her if she ended their sexual relationship. Warren repeatedly denied the allegation and the City Attorney’s Office technically rejected the claim by not responding within a mandatory 45-day window.

But after that deadline, the city continued to examine the situation by hiring two law firms to conduct external investigations. The results of those investigations have not been made public, and the city has rejected Public Records Act requests filed by The Sacramento Bee to obtain that information.

The allegation cast doubt over whether Warren would run again, even as he established himself as one of the council’s more high-profile members. Warren was the council’s vice mayor in 2015, running multiple meetings in Mayor Kevin Johnson’s absence.

A native of Del Paso Heights, Warren won a seat on the City Council in 2012, narrowly defeating former Councilman Rob Kerth. Warren is a developer and his business office is on Del Paso Boulevard, the commercial hub of his district.

In June, Warren will face one other candidate who was part of that 2012 field.

Sondra Betancourt, head of the community association in North Sacramento’s Ben Ali neighborhood, said she would file her paperwork Thursday. Betancourt finished sixth out of six candidates in the June 2012 primary.

She said she’s running again because “I really can’t tell you there’s been a lot of progress the last 3 1/2 years.”

“It seems as though the encouragement is to put businesses in that maybe aren’t the best for North Sacramento,” she said.

Grocery chain Viva opened a store on Marysville Boulevard recently, the first full-service grocery store to open in the area in more than 20 years. A new Grocery Outlet is planned for the corner of Del Paso Boulevard and El Camino Avenue. Betancourt said she isn’t satisfied.

“A Grocery Outlet is better than no store, but it’s not what people have been asking for,” she said.

Gregory Jefferson, who leads the Del Paso Heights Community Association, is also running for the seat. Jefferson said he and his organization supported Warren in 2012, but have not been satisfied with the councilman’s performance. He said crime has gotten worse, blight has not improved and there are not enough youth programs in local community centers.

“I’m running because the problems that existed during the last campaign are pretty much still in place and in some places have gotten worse,” Jefferson said. “The promises that were given were not kept and I decided that if you want to change something, sometimes you’ve got to do it yourself.”

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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