This story about West Covina Councilwoman Shelley Sanderson evolved through the day as I worked on it yesterday. Initially, there was no reference to a sex video, but after speaking with West Covina police Lt. Ron Mitchell it became clear that the video was a vital part of the investigation. Still, several questions remain unanswered. Mainly, why was Charlynda Lamb targeting Sanderson? Lamb won’t return calls, and police and Sanderson say they don’t know.
Here is the story:
Woman pleads to `disturbing’ councilwoman
By Jennifer McLain, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 10/13/2008 11:43:47 PM PDT
WEST COVINA – A Lake Elsinore woman who posted an Internet sex video targeting a city councilwoman has been convicted of disturbing the peace for making threatening phone calls to the councilwoman, officials said Monday.
Charlynda Lamb, 32, posted a video in several Internet forums purporting to show West Covina Councilwoman Shelley Sanderson engaged in sexual activity in 2000.
Sanderson, 43, filed a criminal complaint against Lamb in January, alleging Lamb was threatening and harassing her over the phone. Sanderson on Monday declined to discuss the video.
“I need to make sure that nothing compromises the ongoing investigation,” Sanderson said. “I am a victim here.”
West Covina police Lt. Ron Mitchell, who hadn’t seen the video, said police didn’t believe it was Sanderson in the video.
“It’s my understanding from people who have viewed the tape that it was not Ms. Sanderson,” he said.
Police discovered the video while investigating Sanderson’s allegations against Lamb.
Lamb, initially charged with making annoying, threatening or harassing phone calls, pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace last month and is due back in court March 23 to pay a $120 fine.
Lamb and her attorney, Albert D’Antin, did not return calls Monday.
West Covina police said Monday that they are conducting an ongoing investigation of other material found on Lamb’s computer.
“We found some things on the computer that concern us,” Mitchell said. However, “the investigation of Ms. Lamb’s victimization of Ms. Sanderson is complete at this point.”
Mitchell said Lamb posted the sex video on the Internet, but did not produce the video.
The video, described on YouTube as “Birthday Bash Bits taken from a Birthday Bash,” appeared on such Web sites as MySpace, which is where police found it.
MySpace and YouTube have removed the video.
Sanderson said she met Lamb once but could not remember when or where. She also does not know why she was the target of Lamb’s “annoying phone calls.”
Several calls were received in one day in January and Sanderson said she felt her life was in danger.
“She actually stated that, `I (am) coming to get you,”’ Sanderson said of Lamb.
Sanderson made a police report and filed restraining order against Lamb. During a September hearing in the case, a judge banned Lamb from making contact with Sanderson.
This is not the first time Sanderson, first elected to West Covina City Council in March 2001, has sought a restraining order while serving as a councilwoman, she said.
Nearly two years ago, she obtained a restraining order against a man who threatened to do “not so nice” things to her, she said.
“I’ve been in politics for a while now, and it is interesting how forward people are. As a politician, you have to be more tolerant of what is said about you, whether it’s true or not,” Sanderson said. “The thing I don’t like is injustice. I don’t like when a person can say horrible things about a person and get away with it.”