By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sentencing postponed, Drain on 9th lawyer
Placeholder Image

STOCKTON – A San Joaquin County Jury convicted Ashley Drain of election and welfare fraud back in April, and the former Manteca Unified School Board trustee was supposed to be sentenced at the end of May.
But after a juror was dismissed during deliberations and her attorney attempted unsuccessfully to get judge Charlotte Orcutt to declare a mistrial, Drain has once again changed lawyers – the ninth since she began the quest to clear her name from charges stemming from a botched nomination form.
According to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office, Drain’s sentencing will be postponed until her new lawyer can get up to speed on the dynamics of the case and make the appropriate motions. She appeared in court on Monday morning, but her formal sentencing date has yet to be determined.
Drain, who defeated incumbent Manuel Medeiros in the 2014 general election for Manteca Unified School Board, used a fake address in order to qualify for the seat that allowed her to represent Weston Ranch – an area which she championed almost exclusively during her tenure on the board.
Her nomination paperwork, which was submitted to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voter’s office, included the address that was used by fellow trustee Alexander Bronson – which was also determined to be fraudulent – but that line was crossed out and the address that she used in its place was determined not to be her home at the time she submitted the paperwork.
Bronson pled guilty in exchange for his testimony. He could be called to testify in September when Sam Fant – who is facing election fraud and conspiracy charges for allegedly serving as the mastermind between Drain and Bronson’s election to the board – faces trial.
Fant unsuccessfully tried to get the California Attorney General’s office to step in and take over his case, alleging prosecutorial misconduct. Drain attempted a similar move, but also had her motion denied.
Bronson, who resigned immediately when charged, has kept a low profile ever since. Fant, who has maintained his innocence on the charges, lost a bid for the Stockton City Council, and said that he has been splitting time between Stockton and somewhere else that his family owns property.
A California Secretary of State’s office investigation into Drain and Bronson led to a recommendation being made to San Joaquin County. Fant was charged after information came to light during legal proceedings for the two former trustees. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.