Manteca Unified School District first term trustees Ashley Drain, 26, and Alexander Bronson, 22, appeared in Superior Court Thursday afternoon before Judge Franklin Stephenson on charges of election fraud and perjury.
Drain had added counts of grand theft for alleged food stamp thefts after claiming her husband was no longer living in their Stockton home last year.
Drain was given a continuance on her arraignment by the judge to give her new attorney time to become more familiar with the case. Bronson entered a plea of not guilty on seven charges against him – two for election fraud and five for perjury, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Maier.
Drain has a total of 10 felony charges, according to the court that included election fraud, perjury and grand theft. Both trustees have allegedly claimed to have been living within the Manteca Unified School District when they filed papers for their candidacy. They originally claimed to live in the same home in Manteca where residents denied ever having known them.
Judge Stephenson directed suspects to report to the county jail on the morning of Saturday , May 16, to be booked, have their photographs taken and be fingerprinted. They will then be allowed to return home and remain free from custody on the own recognizance, according to the judge.
There were a number of Manteca area residents in the courtroom who later said the active recall effort against the trustees had reached its necessary number of signatures . The pair of freshman trustees are expected to be served with the legal papers for the recall at that May 12 meeting.