A member of the California city council has been charged with various felonies in relation to the 2020 election.
CBS reports that Shakir Khan of Lodi was detained on Thursday.
According to an Instagram post from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, Khan has been charged with “Causing/Procuring/Allowing false voter registration of self/another person; Submission of fraudulent registration to Secretary of State; Submission of fraudulent Candidacy petition; Aiding/Abetting the commission of fraud at any election; Subscription of fictitious names to nomination petitions; False nomination/declaration of candidacy; Fraudulently casting votes and Procuring/assisting/counseling/advising another not qualified to vote.”
Khan was charged with illicit gambling, money laundering, tax evasion, and jobless claim fraud as early as 2021.
Sheriff’s officials allege that during a 2020 search warrant of Khan’s home, they located 41 mail-in ballots and after further investigating they located about 70 names that were registered to Khan’s home, his email or phone number. https://t.co/5Cq426cX9A
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According to KTXL-TV, San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow stated, “Our investigation uncovered that councilman Shakir Khan has attempted to undermine, manipulate and violate one of our most fundamental rights here in our country, and that is the right to free and fair elections.”
“It appears to councilman Shakir Khan has targeted members of his own community, our Pakistani community in the north county. And we are doing everything we can to work with them to make sure that they are protected,” he stated.
According to KTXL-TV, a search of Khan’s residence in connection with another inquiry allegedly uncovered 41 completed and sealed mail-in votes.
Capt. Art Harty of the sheriff’s office stated, “When we saw this, we thought that something was off here and we didn’t know we had a crime at this particular point because there was a recent change in election law and people can turn in ballots on behalf of another.”
During a news conference on Thursday, the sheriff’s office said that 23 individuals had registered to vote using Khan’s address. According to deputies, 47 additional individuals used Khan’s email and phone number while residing at different residences.
According to deputies, there were signature verification difficulties with the petitions that Khan used to qualify for the ballot, since the signatures on the petitions did not match those on file with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Deputies say that some persons told them that Khan signed their votes and that some individuals who do not even reside in the United States voted for Khan.
Khan allegedly released a video on social media instructing anyone who may be interrogated to “say that you filled out your ballot if you are questioned.”
While Lodi Mayor Mikey Hothi has stated that he had Khan’s signature on a resignation letter while Khan was in jail, Khan has stated that he will not quit following his return.
“I did not resign my city council seat,” Khan told KCRA-TV. “I will continue to serve the people that I love in my district and my community. My family and myself, we are going through some hard time right now and we are looking forward to fighting these charges,” Khan said.
Khan’s attorney, William Sawyer, stated that if Lodi “attempts to enforce what I think is a bogus resignation, they’re gonna enter into significant federal litigation.”