OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Alameda County’s 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.
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