EL CENTRO -- Imperial County Office of Education Board Trustee Annette Gonzalez-Buttner was formally charged Tuesday with two felony counts alleging that she does not reside in the county where she holds public office.
Specifically, Gonzalez-Buttner is facing once count of perjury by declaration and one count of false declaration of candidacy, the Imperial County District Attorney's Office reported.
The charges were prompted by an investigation by the DA's Office Bureau of Investigations. The DA's Office has statutory enforcement obligations under the California Political Reform Act, a press release stated.
"These laws were designed to ensure the public trust in the electoral process and it is important elected officials realize significant ongoing violations pose a threat to the integrity of an election and will be taken seriously," said DA Gilbert Otero in a written statement. "Elected officials cannot claim under penalty of perjury that they reside at a specific address in order to become elected."
Gonzalez-Buttner is scheduled to appear for arraignment on Friday at the county Superior Court courthouse in Brawley. If convicted, she faces fines and up to four years in county jail.
Gonzalez-Buttner was first elected to the ICOE board in November 2013. She has long been dogged by allegations that she lives outside of the county.
In 2016, she disclosed to the IV Press that she was attending university classes in Santa Clara County but still maintained her primary domicile in Calexico.