Felony Criminal Investigation Chronology: University of California, Santa Barbara
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Steve Pappas files an Election Re-count so he can review samples of the back-up documents including voter registration cards, precinct voter rosters, absentee ballot envelopes and provisional ballot envelopes. Pappas discovers irregularities including hundreds of cards filled out in the same ink and same handwriting, voter registration cards held by 3rd party circulators for several weeks before being forwarded to the County Election Office, signature discrepancies between the voter signature on the voter’s registration cards and the voter’s absentee ballots. Based on the findings of the election re-count, Pappas filed an Election Contest. Election Law forced Pappas to name Farr personally in the Contest.
The Farr campaign defended the Election Contest and, in doing so, the Farr campaign incurred attorney’s fees; they declared those fees on the Farr Campaign 460 form where all campaign debts and expenditures must be filed and declared to the public. A candidate is not personally held financially responsible for the debts incurred by their campaign. Per the Federal Political Practice Commission (FPPC), when the campaign and its committee dissolve, the remaining debt of the campaign is discharged otherwise it remains the debt of the campaign indefinitely, or until paid off. Pappas, likewise incurred his own attorney fees.
The Superior Court Election Contest trial ends due to ruling of Judge McLafferty that Pappas did not have “standing” to continue under the Help America Vote Act. Farr prevailed. Pappas personally paid all court costs.
Pappas files an appeal in the 2nd District Appellate Court.
The 2nd District Appellate Court upheld the lower court’s ruling but in doing so the presiding Judge asked Farr’s attorney: “circulators who violate procedure should be prosecuted, shouldn’t they? Absolutely”, said the attorney. Following the lead of the presiding Judge, Pappas took the body of Evidence to the County of Santa Barbara Sherriff, Bill Brown.
Sheriff Brown found the evidence compelling and opened a criminal investigation that concluded “Based upon the aforementioned information, there appears to be evidence that numerous violations of the California Elections Code took place during the Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor’s Race, held on November 4, 2008.”
The Sherriff refers the case to California Secretary of State Election Fraud Unit for further action.
See attached letter from Pappas to the Secretary of State Election Fraud Unit.
January 5th, 2011
The Election Fraud Unit opens a subsequent Criminal Investigation.
See attached letter from the Secretary of State Fraud Unit to Pappas
California Penal Code Section 115:
(a)Every person who knowingly procures or offers any false or forged instrument to be filed, registered, or recorded in any public office within this state, which instrument, if genuine, might be filed, registered, or recorded under any law of this state or of the United States, is guilty of a felony. (b)Each instrument which is procured or offered to be filed, registered, or recorded in violation of subdivision (a) shall constitute a separate violation of this section.