It’s been more than a year since a jury found former Manteca Unified School Board Trustee Ashely Drain guilty of 11 counts including perjury, grand theft and voter fraud.
But when she appears in court next week before the same San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge that oversaw her case, it won’t be for sentencing.
Drain, 29, who now goes by her maiden name of Hampton, is scheduled to appear in courtroom 8D of the San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 30, for a motion hearing. The month after being convicted she began making regular appearances in court seeking a new trial after Orcutt dismissed the lone black juror during deliberations after she determined that the woman, who was later identified as then-San Joaquin Delta College Trustee Jennet Stebbins, was the lone holdout for a conviction and refused to participate in deliberation proceedings.
Stebbins had used a different last name while navigating the jury selection process, and her role as a public official was not disclosed.
According to her case file, Drain has had at least four attorneys – two of them appointed by the court – to represent her in the case. As part of her case history, Drain’s counsel has filed a declaration of prejudice against Judge George Abdallah and sought to have the entire San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office barred from her case citing racial bias – the same defense strategy tried unsuccessfully by former Manteca Unified Trustee Sam Fant, who was convicted of providing the false addresses that Drain and Alexander Bronson used to run for the Manteca school board seats they were elected to in 2014.
Abdallah was the judge who heard Fant’s motions for the DA to recuse itself and his request to have the California Attorney General’s office take over in their place.
Legal shakeups aside, Drain was convicted of five counts of perjury, the false filing of a declaration of candidacy, two counts of a voter registration violation, two counts of fraud to obtain aid and grand theft. The district attorney prosecuting her case alleged that in addition to running for a seat on the school board for which she was not eligible, Drain filed false paperwork to obtain more public assistance than she was entitled – a separate case that began before she ever filed her paperwork declaring her candidacy. Those violations, which were dated Feb. 1, 2014, were the root of the charge of grand theft, the two counts of fraud to obtain aid and one of the five perjury counts for which she was convicted.
The DA’s office, which offered Drain the exact same plea bargain deal that was offered to Bronson, is seeking two years in prison for her crimes.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.