A local congressional aide who was arrested Friday on felony DUI and hit-and-run charges was fired over the weekend after the incident left a 27-year-old woman in critical condition.
Santa Barbara police said Raymond Victor Morua, 32, of Santa Barbara, was arrested following the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight in the 500 block of Anacapa Street, where Mallory Rae Dies was crossing the street.
Morua was a district representative for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and a prominent local advocate for veterans issues.
Police said the collision occurred after Morua had left a downtown party hosted by the Santa Barbara Independent, where he reported he had been drinking.
Dies remains at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, undergoing a series of surgeries and evaluations to monitor her brain function and response, according to a CaringBridge website that has been set up to keep family and friends informed of her condition.
On Monday, Capps' press secretary, Chris Meagher, confirmed that Morua is no longer an employee at her office.
"While Raymond excelled in his duties as a district representative and was a valued member of the staff, his actions that led to this tragedy are inexcusable," Meagher said in a statement to Noozhawk. "The congresswoman expects all those who work for her and on behalf of the people of the Central Coast to behave responsibly and professionally at all times."
Morua has a criminal record from both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, which include previous DUI charges and a hit-and-run charge from 2006.
The Ventura County Superior Court Records website states that Morua was found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol after an incident in July 2006.
Another DUI is listed as occurring in October of that year, with a special allegation of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 or more, to which Morua pleaded guilty.
Records show Morua also pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license on Dec. 21, 2006.
In Santa Barbara County, court records show Morua was arrested along with a fellow employee at Kmart in Goleta, and was charged with grand theft by embezzlement for illegally using coupons to obtain merchandise for himself and friends.
He pleaded no contest to the charges.
When asked about the hiring process that Capps' office used, Meagher said House of Representatives procedures are followed, and potential staff are vetted through a standard process of interviews and reference checks.
"However, the office does not as a routine matter perform criminal background checks," he said, adding that Capps' office has undertaken a review of hiring procedures, and is working with the House sergeant at arms to review its protocol.
Meagher also said the thoughts and prayers of those in Capps' office remain with the victim, her family and friends.
Morua remained in custody in Santa Barbara County Jail, and was scheduled to appear Tuesday in Superior Court for arraignment, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter.