DOWNEY – Downey political figures Luis and Alma Marquez have found themselves surrounded in controversy concerning a child that the councilmember allegedly fathered with another woman.
According to an official who spoke to the Patriot on the condition of anonymity, a woman by the name of Maribel Zavala has brought an out-of-wedlock child of Marquez’s to light after the council member supposedly denied that the child is his.
According to this source, Zavala wants Marquez to take responsibility for the child.
The anonymous official also spoke of a meeting between the three parties involved, where Zavala supposedly said she was intimidated by Luis and Alma to not bring the issue to the public.
The source also said that all three parties were recently in court together, and that councilmember Marquez now faces a mandatory paternity test. The court case is sealed.
In a prepared statement, Councilman Marquez acknowledged "making a mistake" but called allegations of a love child "completely false" and "a political attack."
“This is a personal and legal matter that is affecting my family, so on the advice of our attorney, I will not be commenting on this issue any further other than this statement," Marquez said. "I want to publicly apologize to my wife Alma, my children, my entire family and all the residents of Downey. I made a mistake and I am working through it with my wife and family. My number one concern is protecting my children and family.
"I am proud of what I have accomplished as a Councilmember during my nearly 8 years on the council and I want the residents of Downey know that this issue will not keep me from fulfilling my city duties and doing the peoples work during my last two months on the council.
"I made a mistake and my wife Alma should not be paying the consequences with these completely false allegations and political attacks to discredit her candidacy for Downey City Council….These smear and political dirty tactics have no place in our Downey political landscape.”
The controversy comes at an interesting time for the Marquez family, as Luis will finish his final City Council term in the next few months, and Alma is currently running to replace him.
The issue was the subject of an article recently published by a local tabloid.
Alma released a statement in response, saying in part:
“This article and what it says about me is baseless and a complete fabrication. It cites ‘sources close to Zavala.’ As its source of information, the so-called reporter never contacted me, my husband or any of the parties about whom this story is supposed to be about.
"Mr. Brian Hews is a political hitman posing as a newspaper reporter and is a disgrace to all real reporters who do their reporting with journalistic integrity. Mr. Hews has put profits before ethics. Anyone who has followed his ‘stories’ can attest to the fact that he is nothing more than a hired gun for whomever can pay him to run political attack stories.
"…I can only surmise that Mr. Brian Hews has again taken money to publish this despicable and untrue political hit against me in a cowardly attempt to destroy my credibility and ruin my chances of winning a seat in the Downey City Council.
"I am running a clean campaign based on my merits and experience, this is why I have earned the trust and support of many in my community, including Congressman Alan Lowenthal, Janice Hahn, Senator Tony Mendoza and many other public and private sector leaders and most of my neighbors…”
Zavala did not respond to calls for comment.