The Orange County District Attorney's Office has criminally charged Assessor Webster Guillory with filing false nomination papers for the November election.
Guillory, 70, faces three felony counts of filing false nomination papers and could serve a maximum of four years in prison, according to a DA news release Tuesday.
Guillory, an African-American who belongs to no political party, is seeking a fifth term against challenger Claude Parrish. It is unclear what impact the charges will have on Guillory's candidacy. Guillory could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutors allege that on March 7, as Guillory scrambled to meet the deadline for this nomination papers, he ignored an important issue.
“Nomination papers cannot legally be accepted by the Registrar of Voters unless an affidavit is signed at the end of each page by the signature collector stating that he/she personally circulated the nomination paper and witnessed the signatures being written,” stated the DA's press release.
While there were open questions at the time about how employees and some county supervisors' political aides were gathered so quickly during work hours to sign nomination papers for Guillory, prosecutors have centered in their case on the issue of who signed the forms.
“Knowing that he had not personally collected the signatures or witnessed them being written, Guillory is accused of signing his name on two of the 10-signature petitions collected by his associate under the affidavit that reads, 'I circulated the petition and witnessed the signatures on this section of the nomination paper being written.' He is accused of requesting another colleague to falsely sign the third petition,” read the statement issued by prosecutors.
Guillory will be arraigned in Orange County Superior Court on Friday at 9 a.m.
Correction: an earlier version of this story listed Guillory as a Democrat. Voice of OC regrets the error.