Explosive Cameron Park CSD Meeting Expected as some citizens accuse Director McNeil of voter fraud
A group of Cameron Park citizens strongly object to CSD Member Scott McNeil’s run for Supervisor because they say he did not live in the District for which he was running. In December some hired a private investigator to determine if Scott actually moved to the location within the District or just claimed to have moved. They believe that his claim was nothing more than a pretense intended to deceive voters and election officials.
The standard was set in a similar case in 2007-08 in San Francisco when then Supervisor Edmund Jew was found to have lied about residency. In late May 2007, questions surfaced about whether or not Jew actually lived in his San Francisco home, and whether or not Jew therefore met the residency requirements of his supervisor position. The house claimed as Jew's residence (on 28th Avenue in the Sunset District) was owned by his father, though Jew's neighbors said that the house was vacant and utility bills showed little to no usage of water or electricity.
Cameron Park residents followed the evidence path laid out in the Jew case and checked with neighbors nearby the house claimed in McNeil’s election filing and discovered that the house was vacant and for sale. Later the house sold forcing McNeil to switch to another home in the area, but likewise, it was not his real home.
A challenge was made to his election filing veracity and it was confirmed that he did not live in the District. Some have claimed that simply claiming to live somewhere or changing your voter address qualifies as establishing residency requirements but the law defines that it must be you primary domicile, not just one of your residences. Determining that was also laid out in the Jew case and Elections code.
One citizen went to the County Elections office to examine the petitions that McNeil turned in. In all he had 217 signatures, of which 142 were verified. 3097 Cambridge Rd. was listed on all petitions submitted. The dates were December 30, 2011 - to approximately the second week of February 2012.
Also examined was the challenge letter sent to McNeil by Elections regarding his "domicile residence" for voting purposes. This letter was sent to McNeil on 2/28/12, signed by him on 3/4/12 and hand carried to Elections on 3/7/12. He stated he lived at 4015 Ito Way.
349. (a) "Residence" for voting purposes means a person's domicile. (b) The domicile of a person is that place in which his or her habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, the person has the intention of returning. At a given time, a person may have only one domicile. (c) The residence of a person is that place in which the person's habitation is fixed for some period of time, but wherein he or she does not have the intention of remaining. At a given time, a person may have more than one residence.
Today many area residents feel that Scott McNeil intentionally mislead the public and has lost confidence to remain as a Director of the Cameron Park CSD. It is expected that there will be a call for him to voluntarily step down from his office.
More about the Ed Jew case that set the standard regarding Scott McNeil’s accusations:
On June 18, 2007, City Attorney Dennis Herrera sought approval from then California Attorney General Jerry Brown to remove Ed Jew from office. Citing records that showed little use of utilities and interviews of 32 neighbors, he declared that the supervisor had violated the residency requirements of the City Charter. Mayor Gavin Newsom said the case against Jew was "very damning" and urged the supervisor to explain himself. He also raised concern about Jew continuing to cast votes while the legitimacy of his residency was in question and said that he was reviewing city law to find out what power he had to remove Jew from office.
On July 4, 2007, Jew's attorneys issued a 138-page response to Herrera's petition arguing that even if Jew had not lived full time in his home in District 4, his election has not violated any laws.
On July 17, 2007, Jew pled not guilty to the perjury charges.
During the preliminary hearing in late July, prosecutors presented testimonies from Jew's neighbors at both of his homes, indicating that Jew had never lived in his 28th Avenue apartment and spent most of his time in Burlingame. Testimony from a U.S. Postal Service inspector also indicated that Jew's first-class mail went to Burlingame while junk mail went to his San Francisco address. Finally, prosecutors cited records including utility bills showing low usage of water and electricity at his home in 28th Avenue, as well as loan applications that indicate he lived in Burlingame. In defense, Jew's attorney presented a jury duty summons to indicate his address in San Francisco. He also questioned the possible bias in the testimonies of witnesses.
On August 2, 2007, Kahn ruled there was sufficient evidence to compel Jew to stand trial. If convicted on any one of the charges, Jew would have been removed from office.
In November, 2008, Jew plea to guilty in response to the perjury charges regarding his residency violation after accepting a plea bargain that could spare him from serving more time than what he gets in the federal case.
On April 22, 2009, he was sentenced to one year in county jail, three years of probation, and a fine of $2,000. Jew reported to a federal prison in Safford, Arizona on June 30 and his prison term began on July 1