Friday, March 1, 2024
HomeLocal & Regional NewsLassen Assessor Cleared on All Perjury and Voter Fraud Charges

Lassen Assessor Cleared on All Perjury and Voter Fraud Charges

chargesdismissedAt a preliminary hearing held last Friday Lassen County Superior Court Judge Tony Mallery dismissed six felony charges concerning Perjury and Voter Fraud that had been filed against Lassen County Assessor Daniel Schlueter by the District Attorney’s office in early July. Those six charges stemmed from the 2014 general election in which Schlueter ran unopposed, asserting on his official candidacy statement that his address was on Rainbow Drive in Westwood, while, according to the D.A., he resided in another county.

After the lengthy preliminary hearing where evidence was presented to the court by both prosecution and defense teams, Judge Mallery ruled that charges should be dismissed because the prosecution lacked any information that indicated Schlueter had intended to defraud the voters of Lassen County.

In a terse statement issued Wednesday by her office District Attorney Stacey Montgomery said that the dismissal by Judge Mallery, “…is disappointing and is a loss for the people of Lassen County.”

Montgomery said that the intent to commit perjury is an issue for the jury.

“The People,” continued Montgomery commenting on Judge Mallery’s ruling, “feel the decision was made with a blatant disregard for the law and the standard of proof required at a preliminary hearing.”

Schlueter’s attorney Stephen King said, following the dismissal of the charges, that he was pleased that the court saw it as he did. “Dan Schlueter is a 19-year military veteran, did a one-year tour in Afghanistan, has worked for the people of Lassen County for many years and this ‘less than thorough investigation’ has harmed his standing and reputation.”

The District Attorney, in her written statement, said that the case had been reviewed by the Secretary of State’s Investigative Division prior to the filing of the charges and that it was the agency’s opinion that the case was, in Montgomery’s words, “a clear case of setting up ‘a false storefront’ to feign eligibility to run for office.”

According to Montgomery, “The People are reviewing the case and weighing their options as to how to proceed,” in the wake of Judge Mallery’s dismissal of the charges.

“The D.A. exhibited a basic misunderstanding of the law, the elements of the offense and the law as it applies to preliminary hearings,” King said Wednesday afternoon. “Anyone who doubts the court made the correct decision should read the transcript. The transcript will also reveal how superficial the investigation was.”

Montgomery said that despite the court’s Friday decision her department may seek to have the ruling reviewed or to refile the case. She said that decision by her office, “is pending.”

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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