Kathleen Knox, a candidate for Alameda County auditor-controller in the June 3 primary, has withdrawn from the race after pleading not guilty to six felony charges by the district attorney who alleges she doesn't live in the county.
Knox, who has been free on $60,000 bail since her arrest, issued a statement withdrawing from the election ahead of returning to court for a pretrial hearing. She was 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.
She was 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.
In her statement, Knox said that the "distractions of the current events have become overwhelming and my focus now needs to be entirely on my family, my business and my private life."
"To my supporters and my endorsers, I am eternally thankful and look forward to working together in community service in the future," she said. "These last 2 months of campaigning and running for Auditor Controller have been an amazing experience. I have met so many engaging, hardworking and passionate people who believe in Alameda County."
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."
Alameda County DA's 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.
Knox said that she continues to believe in strong and honest government.
"This includes the electoral process for which I am so grateful to have been a part of," she said. "As the first woman to run for this position and the first person to challenge this position in almost 30 years, I only hope that I am not the last. I encourage others to participate and to make a difference."