News

Alameda County candidate accused of actually living in Danville

Auditor-controller hopeful pleads not guilty to six felonies after DA alleges she lied about residence in campaign papers

Alameda County auditor-controller candidate Kathleen Knox pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felony counts for allegedly lying in campaign papers about where she lives.

Knox, 49, declined to speak to reporters after a brief arraignment in Alameda County Superior Court, and is scheduled to return to court on May 15 for a pretrial hearing.

Knox, who is free on $60,000 bail, is charged with one count of registration of an ineligible voter, two counts of perjury by declaration and three counts of fraudulent voting.

Prosecutors allege that Knox listed her residence as being in San Leandro but she actually lives in Danville in Contra Costa County.

Knox is running against Steve Manning, the county's chief deputy auditor, in the June 3 election for the right to succeed Patrick O'Connell, who was elected to the position in 1986 but announced in March that he wouldn't seek re-election.

On her campaign website, Knox said, "The Auditor-Controller's office needs reform and it need it now. Business as usual is just too expensive."

Knox said she believes she is qualified for the job because she has been involved in county politics for 30 years and also has 30 years of business experience.

Knox's lawyer, Leon Mezzetti, said Knox still remains on the ballot in the June 3 election and he is exploring the possibility of trying to expedite her case.

However, Mezzetti said he is waiting to see what kind of evidence the Alameda County District Attorney's Office has against Knox and that he is still determining the strategy he will use to defend her against the charges she faces.

District Attorney Inspector Bruce Brock wrote in a probable cause statement that when Knox filed her candidacy papers in March she listed her address as 1345 Clarke St. in San Leandro.

But Brock said an investigation by prosecutors shows that Knox hasn't lived at the San Leandro address from June 2010 to the present and her true residence has been 663 Sheri Lane in Danville.

When investigators interviewed Knox on April 21, Knox admitted that she moved to Danville in June 2010 so her daughter could attend San Ramon Valley High School, where she is still enrolled, Brock said.

However, Knox said that when she decided to run for auditor-controller in Alameda County she moved to the Rose Gate adult residential care home on Clarke Street in San Leandro, which she owns, according to Brock.

But when authorities interviewed several care workers at Rose Gate they all indicated that Knox did not live at the facility, either at the care facility or in an upstairs apartment, Brock said.

Investigators also developed evidence that Knox voted fraudulently in the general election in Alameda County last November because she actually was living in Contra Costa County, Brock said.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tour Uncle Sam
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 7:17 am

Now, THIS is the kind of election fraud enforcement I can support -- because, you know, it actually exists.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 8:13 am

I guess cause she has made up her own rules she expects everyone to accept her position. This is the pervasive mentality of those in public office. They make rules to suit themselves and the rest of us have to accept it. I'm not shocked by this behavior it started with Clinton when he redefined sex. Everything is up to interpretation now and certainly when you have lawyers in political office.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 11:15 am

Knox's fraudulent voting illustrates how easy it is to do, if you have multiple actual residences, or just keep voting in the county where you used to live (as well as voting where you now live). Due to lack of coordination of voter registrations between counties (and even more so between states), it's quite easy to do.

Knox only got caught (on the illegal voting) because of her candidacy for office. And probably that only came to light because an opponent got wind of her actual residence.

The integrity of our election and voting process should be a non-partisan issue - but various vested interests prefer the status quo.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

As to the "residency" requirement issue only:
The objective of the "residency" requirement is so that, when a politician votes in a certain way then that politician themself will share in the benefits or detriments of that decision. So that they have "skin in the game" and have, relatively, the same interests as the other "residents" of the area.
Noting, of course, that "Resident Interests" can vary between residents (different people have different opinions about things, such as basketball hoops on the street, etc.) and there are huge differences between the two resident groups of owners or tenants.

Let's see, it looks like Knox owns a property in the area, owns and operates a business in the area, has been a resident in the area in past years, and apparently could live in the upper apartment. So it's not like she doesn't have any ties or direct interest in the area at all. Quite different than someone who has no direct ties to the area whatsoever.
(Seems like she could have played the political game better by establishing her residency with clearer actions.)

Wonder what her positions were on her apparent claims that "business as usual" in that area was NOT GOOD.

It would certainly be very interesting to hear WHO it was actually behind this investigation (complain, initiated, prompted it) to discover whether there was any "dirty, back room dealing" going on (in addition to Knox's wrong-doings). It seems a very convenient outcome for her opponent (who I know nothing, about except that he is an established career politician).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm

The voter ID reform currently being pushed is BS. It is a complete waste of money and time. If people really want to make voting more equitable they should pray for the supreme court to reverse its latest "give-away" to the wealthy.

These PACs are going to control all future elections. Only the wealthy will have real freedom of speech and voters rights. Again we are seeing how activist judges are reshaping American democracy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Highlander
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2014 at 7:01 am

Someone ought to investigate one of the Richmond City Councilmembers who is doing the same thing. Somehow, his children magically attend Miramonte High School in Orinda while he serves in Richmond.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Highlander
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2014 at 7:01 am

Someone ought to investigate one of the Richmond City Councilmembers who is doing the same thing. Somehow, his children magically attend Miramonte High School in Orinda while he serves in Richmond.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mw
a resident of Danville
on May 12, 2014 at 5:17 am

Great. How many Bay Area candidates running for office pull these stunts? I feel sorry for the residents of Alameda County having a candidate on their ballot that have to deal with someone who is dishonest. Thank goodness this person didn't run for CoCo auditor.


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