Cheating Commiecrat "Latino Activist" commits voter fraud. Water is wet, fire burns, con men pull off cons.
Longtime Latino rights activist and former Santa Ana school board chairman Nativo Lopez has been charged with four felony counts of voter fraud and has been released on his own recognizance pending trial.
The charges stem from Lopez allegedly registering to vote at a Los Angeles office address while continuing to live with his family in Orange County. He also allegedly cast an illegal ballot from Los Angeles in the 2008 presidential primary.
He faces charges of fraudulent voter registration, fraudulent document filing, perjury and fraudulent voting, according to Secretary of State Debra Bowen. The maximum penalty if convicted on all charges would be 3 years and 8 months in state prison.
Lopez is national president of Mexican American Political Association and national director of Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, both of which are advocates for immigrant rights. A controversial figure among both anti-illegal immigration activists and some community activists, Lopez was recalled in 2003 from his post as school board member after serving six years.
The charges against him were filed after Bowen’s office investigated a tip and turned the matter over to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to prosecute. The office where he was registered to vote was the Boyle Heights branch of Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, according to Bowen.
The Orange County Registrar of Voters said Lopez had been registered to vote in Santa Ana until January 2008, when he cancelled his Orange County registration.
Lopez surrendered to authorities on Wednesday. Superior Court Commissioner Alan Rubin granted Lopez's request to be released without posting bail.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office had been seeking bail of $55,000, said spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons. Arraignment - when Lopez will state whether he is guilty or not guilty - was set for July 8.
In 1996, Lopez attracted controversy for registering new citizens in the congressional district where Democrat Loretta Sanchez upset incumbent Bob Dornan.
A congressional investigation later found that some voters had cast ballots before their citizenship was finalized. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office investigated allegations that Lopez’s primary organization, then known as Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, was responsible for the improper registrations but no charges were filed.
Lopez also ran into difficulties in 2002 over hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding received by Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, whose services included citizenship training and English lessons. Prosecutors alleged that Lopez had wrongly used the education grants to pay the mortgage on his headquarters in Santa Ana.
Hermandad Mexicana Nacional agreed to pay a $600,000 settlement, but did not admit wrongdoing.