Watchdog: Belle may be in violation of County School Board Member residency requirements

Watchdog-LogoBy Barbara Zivica

The current Contra Costa County Governing Board Member for District 5 is controversial Jeff Belle who, as reported by this newspaper, has a long history of legal problems both civil and criminal.

Unfortunately, his term does not expire until November 29, 2018. Is there anyway to boot him out of office prior to when his term in office ends? Perhaps there is.

One of requirements of holding office is that he reside within the district to which he was elected to represent. Hearing that he had moved out of Antioch, I contacted Karen Sakata, County Superintendent of Schools, and inquired as to his present address. She advised me that they currently only have a P.O. Box for Belle, which shows a lack of due diligence on their part.

I then contacted the Contra Costa County Elections Board to see if he had violated AB1676 requiring that a person elected to a non-judicial public office for a county, city or school district maintain his or her domicile within the jurisdiction within which voters are qualified to vote for the office during his or her term of office.

Any person who violates this provision is required to immediately forfeit his or her office and would be disqualified from holding any state or local public office for a period of four years. In addition, if persons serving terms of office that commence on or after November 2, 2010 violate the domicile requirement, such violation is punishable by either a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 or a fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail for no more than 6 months, or by both fine and imprisonment.

According to the county elections office, if Belle’s registration card at the time he ran for office shows an Antioch address and he has not notified the elections office of his change(s) of residency within the district he has committed perjury, in addition to already lying on his ballot statement about having a college degree.

NOTE: Board members receive a stipend of $463.05/month, benefits and mileage. The total conference budget for the 2014-15 school year for all five board members is $10,000. The proposed conference budget for the 2015-16 school year is $15,000 for all five board members.

3 Comments to “Watchdog: Belle may be in violation of County School Board Member residency requirements”

  1. Wayne Steffen says:

    So, what are the county school district and elections doing about this????

  2. Reginald Jamal Brown says:

    Ain’t nuttin wrong wid breaking the law when you’re a politician. Just look at Obama. Sheet. Us black folks deserve to be able to break da law.

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