Former Manteca Unified Trustee Alexander Bronson won’t have to appear in court again to face election fraud charges until August.
Last week Bronson – who resigned amongst allegations that he didn’t live in the district in which he was elected – had his attorney appear on his behalf before Judge Ron Northrup for a pre-preliminary hearing in Stockton. According to court records, he won’t personally have to appear back in court until Aug. 5 unless he reaches a plea deal with prosecutors.
And unlike currently embattled board trustee Ashley Drain – who is also facing criminal charges for election fraud as well as welfare fraud and grand theft – he’s allowed to leave the state while out on his own recognizance.
Drain, who last appeared in court on June 3, has scheduled appearances on July 28 and on Sept. 3 when a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to move forward with the case. Drain has permission from the court to leave the State of California from Aug. 10 through Aug. 31.
Both defendants, who were ordered following the charges being filed to report to the San Joaquin County Jail for booking, fingerprints and mugshots, have entered pleas of not guilty.
On April 25 the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office announced that they were pursing charges against both of the trustees that were elected in November after a California’ Secretary of State’s office investigation was concluded that determined that neither had residency in the areas in which they were elected to represent.
The same address that Bronson had listed on his nomination paperwork was also written in on Drain’s paperwork before it was crossed out and a new address was written in. Both the property owner and the current tenant deny knowing either of the two.
Manteca Unified School District Superintendent Jason Messer announced at the board meeting following the District Attorney’s announcement that Bronson had submitted his resignation paperwork to the San Joaquin County Office of Education. His seat, representing Board Area 6 in the heart of Manteca, is being held for appointment by the board as whole following a public interview process at the next board meeting.
Drain, on the other hand, has resisted calls to resign her post and a recall effort to remove her has been launched by community members. A recall effort has also been launched against Trustee Sam Fant, who was listed on the questionable nomination paperwork for both candidates as a reference to affirm that was being listed was true and correct.