Former Daly City Councilwoman Maggie Gomez was sentenced this morning to six months in San Mateo County Jail after being convicted of two felony counts of insurance fraud. Judge Lisa Novak called Gomez’ conduct “despicable” before imposing the sentence, which also includes paying more than $25,000 in restitution to the defrauded insurance companies. “You are a fraud, you are a liar, and you have deceived the community which you were elected to serve,” Novak said. In February 2011, Gomez pleaded no contest to two felony charges related to filing a false workers’ compensation claim in which she stated that she had injured her knee in 2005 while working as a patient relations manager at Seton Medical Center.
For more than two years following the original claim, Gomez made numerous false statements to insurance mediators, doctors, and under oath in a deposition and before a state Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. Gomez continuously claimed her injury was too severe to allow her to continue to work, according to the district attorney’s office. Meanwhile, investigators caught Gomez on video exercising at the gym, which contradicted her claims of being physically limited. According to gym records, Gomez went to the gym more than 100 times during the period she was claiming to be too injured to work, Deputy District Attorney Sharon Henry said.
After pleading no contest to two of the 14 felony charges against her in February, Gomez was forced to step down from her city council seat — to which she was re-elected in 2010 — since state law prohibits felons from holding office. Novak this morning denied a request by defense attorney Michael Rains that his client be allowed to serve her sentence out of custody with an electronic monitoring device. Gomez was ordered to surrender herself to county jail on May 21.
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