Registered Democrat arrested on suspicion of tampering with voting machine
SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday charged a former member of the California State Assembly with attempting to tamper with voter registration records, charging Republican Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Gil Cedillo with second-degree criminal misconduct.
Assemblyman Brandon Gallegos, R-Pacific, was arrested on suspicion of tampering with voter registration records when he attempted to access a closed computer with information from his voter registration database, according to the district attorney’s office.
The crime carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison, a $10,000 fine and 10 years of ankle monitoring.
The Assembly Rules Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the full Assembly that the arrest be made as an official felony charge and that Gallegos be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor in jail.
“A felony is the only way to hold Mr. Gallegos accountable and ensure that he continues to commit voter fraud,” said Deputy District Attorney Jim Bonifacio, in a prepared statement.
“There are those who would argue that Mr. Gallegos is no worse than a thief, and that is not true,” Bonifacio said. “Mr. Gallegos is a representative of the people who serves in Sacramento, and when he uses the people’s right to petition their elected officials to secure his own political benefit, he abuses that right in the same way he would abuse the people’s money.”
Gallegos pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The incident with the Sacramento Bee broke shortly after noon on the final day of legislative session (Thursday).
Bonifacio said the arrest of a member of the Legislature represents “the tip of an iceberg” that could be larger.
“A person could be using the computer system to change voter information or making fraudulent electronic contacts. We don’t know, there’s an ongoing investigation,” he said.
Gallegos could not be reached for comment. He was not available for an interview. His office said he had been hospitalized for a stomach illness after the arrest.
Gallegos, the Assembly’s sole representative from Pacifica, was one of