Supervisor asks for watchdog commission on voter fraud

July 04, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

County Supervisor Joe Maruca on Tuesday called for the creation of a local voters fraud commission.

"There was widespread voter fraud in the last election," he said, adding there are ways to prevent it. "I think we can establish a watchdog commission headed up the District Attorney's Office to monitor all new registrations and all of the absentee ballots. That's a place to begin."

Maruca reportedly found numerous irregularities related to voter registration and absentee balloting during the buildup to last November's general election. He reported the irregularities to the district attorney, who in turn referred to the state attorney general's office for an investigation.

District Attorney Gilbert G. Otero said an investigator from the state attorney general's office contacted him last week regarding the matter.


"He talked to my investigator who did the original investigation," Otero said Tuesday. "There's still an ongoing investigation."

The issue is tentatively set to be discussed Monday by the recently formed supervisors' committee of the whole, with possible formal action set for two weeks later.

In other business, the board:

l adopted a resolution in support of economic development projects, while stopping short of a requested action to adopt a resolution in favor of a privately run detention center for illegal aliens.

The resolution says the board will consider supporting projects that provide environmentally and fiscally sound development; provide job opportunities for the local community; provide a financial win-win for the project and the county; meet the requirements of the county's general plan; have been reviewed by county staff, received approval from the county Planning Commission and met the requirements of the land-use process; have or are meeting environmental requirements and have agreed that such conditional support by the county does not imply a pre-approval of the project, as well as understands that any one or all of the requested permits or entitlement may ultimately be denied.

l sought public input on, then approved the use of a $291,550 grant to the Sheriff's Office for equipment and personnel. The grant funds are expected to continue funding two full-time deputies assigned to the Glamis Dunes area and expand their patrol to other dunes areas in the county, according to a staff report. The money would also go toward paying overtime to other law enforcement agencies that help patrol the dunes.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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