Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-7008

CITY REFERRED KAVANAGH RESIDENCY ISSUE TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN 2003

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, July 31, 2007) - Berkeley City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque released the following statement today on the allegations that Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner Chris Kavanagh may have committed fraud in running for and assuming elected office in 2002.

“These allegations arose several years ago, in 2002,” said Albuquerque. “Berkeley City Clerk Sherry Kelly (now retired) consulted with me, and we did a preliminary investigation. While the investigation did not resolve the question of where exactly Mr. Kavanagh’s resided, it raised serious questions that warranted further investigation by a law enforcement agency.

“In order to avoid even the appearance of partiality, the City Clerk referred the matter to the Alameda County District Attorney in January 2003, requesting an investigation. At that time, the DA’s office confirmed to Ms. Kelly that the request had been received, and no other contact about the case had been made since.”

The letter from that time is attached below.

Misrepresentations about residency could violate several state laws, including Elections Code section 18100-Registration of person not entitled to register, section 18203-false declaration of candidacy, Section 18351-false statement in candidate’s statement, Section 18500-fraud in connection with vote cast and Penal Code section 118-perjury.

After referring the matter to the District Attorney, the City did no further investigations of the matter. Acting Police Chief Roy Meisner advised at the time that the City Clerk refrain from conducting interviews, so as to not interfere with the DA’s investigation.

Monday, the City Attorney contacted the District Attorney’s office and was advised that their office intends to conduct an investigation in light of the new evidence.  The DA’s office has asked that the City refrain from doing any additional investigations, and the City is cooperating. The City’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission is responsible for campaign finance under the Berkeley Election Reform Act, and not responsible for residency requirements, will also not act in the matter.

Attached: 2003 Letter from City Clerk to DA
2006 Letter Regarding BERA Violations

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