Councilwoman pleads no contest to insurance fraud

February 25, 2011 1:12:49 PM PST
Daly City Councilwoman Margarita Gomez pleaded no contest Friday to two felony counts of insurance fraud and will have to step down from her council seat, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Gomez, 56, appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court this morning to enter the plea with the condition that she would face no more than six months in county jail, Wagstaffe said.

Gomez was formerly mayor in Daly City and was re-elected to the City Council last year. Gomez will be forced to step down as state law prohibits convicted felons from holding office, Wagstaffe said.

In August 2005, Gomez filed a workers' compensation claim stating she was injured while working as a patient relations manager at Seton Medical Center, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

Prosecutors alleged that for more than two years, Gomez made numerous false statements in support of the claim to insurance mediators, doctors and under oath in a deposition and before a state Workers' Compensation Appeal Board.

Gomez was arrested in October 2009 after she was caught on videotape doing activities that contradicted her claims of being physically limited, Guidotti said.

Gomez was originally charged with seven counts of workers' compensation fraud, five counts of making false statements to support an insurance claim, and two counts of attempted perjury, Guidotti said.

Gomez's sentencing is scheduled for May 3.

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