The Coast News Group
Treasurer Victor Roy is facing allegations of viewing inappropriate material on a public computer and soliciting campaign donations from city staff. Photo by Samantha Nelson/The Coast News graphic
Treasurer Victor Roy is facing allegations of viewing inappropriate material on a public computer and soliciting campaign donations from city staff. Photo by Samantha Nelson/The Coast News graphic
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Oceanside treasurer investigated for alleged ethics violations

OCEANSIDE — The city manager’s office is investigating recent allegations against Treasurer Victor Roy, including claims the elected official viewed nude images on a computer at a municipal library and solicited campaign donations from city staff.

Last month, a librarian allegedly caught Roy looking at “inappropriate material” while using a computer at the city’s Mission Branch Library in June 2021. According to an incident report documented at the time, Roy looked at “magazines that when he clicked on the cover, the images inside the magazine were full nudity.”

The report states library staff informed Roy he couldn’t view nudity on public computers. Roy acknowledged he was aware of the rules but only viewed the material during slow hours and remained aware of his surroundings.

The staff again reminded Roy of the policy and stopped viewing the prohibited material, according to the incident report. The librarian didn’t report witnessing any more nudity on Roy’s computer as he continued to use it.

“As with any patron whom we discover viewing inappropriate material on the library computers, Mr. Roy was reminded of the policy and staff has not witnessed any similar activity by Mr. Roy since,” said Assistant City Manager Michael Gossman via email. “If staff were to witness repeat violations, a patron could lose library privileges for up to a year.”

Gossman said the library computers have filters to prevent viewing nudity or other similar activity, but they aren’t “100% foolproof.”

According to a recent article in the San Diego Reader which revealed Roy’s library incident and other allegations from Treasury Manager Steve Hodges, news of Roy’s actions made staff in the finance department feel uncomfortable.

The city is also investigating allegations from a correspondence suggesting Roy tried to solicit campaign donations from Hodges and tried to get him to begin reinvesting in Higgins Capital Management of La Jolla.

Oceanside’s Code of Ethics states that elected officials cannot solicit political support from staff members or involve themselves in awarding contracts.

The city’s website states the treasurer oversees the day-to-day management of the city’s $450-million-plus investment fund, is responsible for selecting the city’s depository bank and works with the city financial services director and city manager.

The treasurer also serves as the ex-officio presiding officer of the Citizen Investment Oversight Committee (CIOC) and performs daily cash management of city funds.

“We take these claims very seriously and are investigating each of them,” Gossman told The Coast News. “Once the investigation(s) are complete, we will take the appropriate action.”

Gossman added the city’s treasury pool “continues to be professionally, conservatively, and appropriately invested in accordance with all state laws and city policies.”

Neither Roy nor Hodges have responded to The Coast News’ requests for comments.

In May, Roy also appeared to violate the Brown Act at a CIOC meeting when he would not let Gossman speak, made decisions without a vote, and threatened to kick out the public. He later corrected those alleged violations during a later meeting.

“The alleged violations of the Brown Act were cured when the CIOC conducted a subsequent special meeting to address the creation of an ad hoc committee to review staff’s proposed changes to the Investment Policy,” Mullen said via email. “Those changes will be considered by Council in August.”

Mullen said he is working with Roy and Hodges to “address the remaining issues.”

Mayor Esther Sanchez said she wants to hear Roy’s explanation of the allegations. Roy has been out of state at a convention for the last week as the allegations have surfaced.

“These are serious allegations being made,” Sanchez said. “Victor is out of the state at a convention. He should be heard on this. I understand there is an investigation that will be taking place.”