|Photos on Noval's FaceBook page featured the convicted felon with Jackson|
The Jackson campaign was quick to assert that the May 5 event, hosted at Victornino Noval's $6M Beverly Hills mansion, was not a fundraiser, however, the LA Times reported that Noval and his family had donated $15,000 to the Jackson campaign. The Times also reported that Noval's son had made a $100,000 donation to the Californian Republican Party in advance of an apparently coincidental $80,000 mailer sent in support of Jackson.
According to the LA Times, 'Victornino Noval 'pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion in connection with a multimillion-dollar mortgage scheme that made headlines in the late 1990s and was sentenced to federal prison in 2003. He later changed his name from Victor Jesus to Victorino.'
In his defense, Jackson told the LA Times that he 'and his campaign said they did not know about Noval's criminal history and that it is all but impossible to do criminal background checks on every donor. After inquiries from The Times, Jackson's campaign said this week that it is returning the money to Noval. '
The Lacey campaign wasted no time issuing a response to the LA Times article. The response was reproduced in full at Randy Economy's blog, where the John Noguez scandal was first reported. Parke Skelton, Lacey's campaign consultant, criticized Jackson for not checking into Noval's background and provided a series of links to articles regarding Noval's criminal past. 'Five minutes of searching Google send up enough red flags about Victor Noval to make it look like May Day in Pyongyang,' Skelton told the LA Times. 'We know that dubious characters want to contribute to a D.A.'s campaign, we have made it our job to vet them and weed them out.' he said.
Jackson's political strategist, John Thomas, said that Noval's contributions would not have won him any favors from Jackson. 'Because a donor decides to support a candidate doesn't mean the candidate is endorsing the donor or the donor's life conduct,' he said. 'Somebody who contributes to Alan Jackson's campaign for district attorney will not receive any kind of special treatment.'