After a murder charge was filed against one of her former legislative aides in Santa Barbara, Rep. Lois Capps has decided to put each of her staff members through background checks.
Raymond Victor Morua, 32, is facing charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death.
Police say Morua hit Mallory Rae Dies, 27, on Dec. 6 while she was crossing the 500 block of Anacapa Street. Dies suffered major head injuries in the incident and was taken off life support five days later.
Capps’ office fired Morua within two days of the arrest, saying “his actions that led to this tragedy are inexcusable.”
Morua has a criminal record, including previous DUI charges and a hit-and-run charge, from both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. He was still on probation for a 2011 grand theft case when he was arrested two weeks ago.
Capps' office did not put employees through background checks, and she has decided to review her process after Morua's arrest.
On Friday, Capps’ press secretary, Chris Meagher, said the office will start conducting criminal background checks on every new employee and current employees. She will use the U.S. Capitol Police to do the checks, which will search based on name, birthdate and fingerprints, Meagher said.
“As she has said previously, the congresswoman expects all those who work for her on behalf of the people of the Central Coast to behave responsibly and professionally at all times, without exception,” he said in a prepared statement. “These new procedures will help ensure that this is the case.”
Morua went to Superior Court twice last week and had his case handed off from private defense attorney Sam Eaton to Deputy Public Defender Michael Hanley between appearances.
The arraignment was delayed to Wednesday, and Morua is being held without bail at the Santa Barbara County Jail.