Council Candidate Has Been Helping His Mom Panhandle on Orange County Streets for Years

Residents of a Laguna Beach neighborhood say a candidate for City Council in Irvine has been transporting his elderly mother to and from Forest Avenue to panhandle for years.

Soon Chey, the mother of Irvine Council candidate David Chey, has been a familiar face on Orange County streets and shopping centers for the past decade. Residents say she arrives in a wheelchair in downtown Laguna and at University Town Center in Irvine regularly. Her son drops her off and picks her up and has been captured on video on multiple occasions doing so. In another video, the 86-year-old Soon is seen defecating on a bench.

The Cheys have encountered their fair share of difficulties. The Daily Pilot reports that they lost their home during bankruptcy in 2007, but that they now reside in an apartment in Irvine and are not living in poverty. The younger Chey is now facing criticism for 'enabling' his mother's panhandling, with some questioning whether the situation qualifies as elder abuse. 

Asked at a recent candidates forum why he is running for city council, David Chey replied, “to help residents achieve the American Dream.”


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