Past Involvement With Muzeo Museum, Community Services Board Brought Aitken, Faessel Together
Ashleigh Aitken, Josh Spears, Stephen Faessel, Bette Aitken, and Susan Faessel at the Muzeo Museum & Cultural Center in 2018.
By DUANE ROBERTS
Editor & Publisher
During The Anaheim Investigator’s recent inquiry into Norma Campos-Kurtz‘s close ties with Councilman Stephen Faessel, we accidentally stumbled across circumstantial evidence which suggested that another prominent Anaheim politician might also have had a similar relationship with him: Mayor Ashleigh Aitken.
For example, we discovered the mayor had some sort of link to Anaheim Beautiful, a non-profit organization that Faessel and his wife have championed. Multiple photographs The Investigator reviewed show Aitken attended a couple of events this group held at various venues, sometimes while the councilman’s wife was present.
In one photo of a September 2018 luncheon, Aitken can be seen seated at a table directly across from Campos-Kurtz, a who not only joined the Board of Directors of Anaheim Beautiful the previous year, but also maintained a tight relationship with Faessel through her job as district director for state Assemblyman Tom Daly.
Campos-Kurtz (back to camera) with Aitken in 2018.
In an attempt to learn more, The Investigator sent an email to Faessel asking him about his interactions with Aitken, including what knowledge he had about her with respect to Anaheim Beautiful, especially since evidence in our possession suggested that she had been affiliated with this non-profit for at least six years.
In response, the councilman told us that though he doesn’t consider Ashleigh to be a close friend, he has known her for “some years” now. But he said that they became acquainted with each other through their involvement with the Muzeo Museum & Cultural Center and Community Services Board, not Anaheim Beautiful.
Below is Faessel‘s reply:
I served as a member of the original MUZEO board with Betty Aiken and got to know her husband Wylie through that connection, I recall that Ashleigh chaired a MUZEO Fundraiser years ago when her mom and dad were still active in the organization.
My wife Susan served on the Anaheim Community Services Board along with Mrs. Ashleigh Aitken for a couple years in the later 2000’s (I cannot recall exactly) so certainly I got to meet her from time to time there.
While you mentioned her being a member of Anaheim Beautiful, I do not have any personal knowledge of that. Susan and I are very supportive of Anaheim Beautiful however I don’t know every member. She may have been a member.
To go to your main question, we know of each other and have for some years. We do not, nor ever have met socially (unless we happened to have attended the same event coincidentally.)
Therefore I would not describe our relationship as ‘close friends.’
The Anaheim Investigator made at least three attempts to contact Aitken and Berenice Ballinas, her chief of staff, requesting comment for this article. However, for some strange reason, the mayor, who claims to be open and transparent with everybody, declined to answer any of the questions we sent her and ignored our emails.