REDWOOD CITY — The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office has filed 12 counts of felony insurance and workers' compensation fraud against Daly City Councilwoman Maggie Gomez, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Gomez stands accused of filing a phony workers' compensation claim in August 2005 that states she was injured on her job as a patient-relations manager at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, said assistant district attorney Karen Guidotti. Over the course of two years, Guidotti said, the councilwoman lied to company representatives about her physical condition.

After receiving a tip that the claim might be bogus, the District Attorney's Office began to investigate Gomez. By the time authorities arrested the 55-year-old Daly City resident on Oct. 29, investigators had seen Gomez working out at a gym and walking long distances while shopping, activities that her injury would have prevented her from doing, Guidotti said.

Gomez faces five counts of insurance fraud, seven counts of workers' compensation fraud and two charges of attempted perjury. Guidotti said the last two charges stem from statements Gomez made during deposition, which is a witness' out of court testimony. All are felonies.

When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Gomez, who is out on $100,000 bail, neither confirmed nor denied the charges. She has yet to be arraigned and is due in court on Dec. 1.


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"If you put something like this in the paper, I suggest you take the time to make sure it's true," she said.

Daly City Vice Mayor Mike Guingona said he was "shocked" by the charges and called Gomez an "honest person." Gomez has been on the City Council for eight years and is up for re-election in 2010.

"I'm sure that she will be exonerated," he said. "I'm praying for her family."

Defense attorney Michael Rains, who is also representing former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, accused of fatally shooting a Hayward man Jan. 1, said he had not had a chance evaluate the evidence in the case yet.

He went on to say that Gomez has a good reputation and that he would not be surprised if someone is trying to smear her.

Authorities began looking at Gomez after Seton Medical Center and San Mateo County insurance investigators both got an anonymous letter about the councilwoman's alleged conduct.

Representatives from Seton Medical Center were not immediately available Tuesday for comment.

Daly City City Manager Pat Martel and Mayor Sal Torres declined to comment.