Skip to comments.CA: Shelley beats deadline of Parra's threat (agrees to testify Feb. 3rd re: HAVA / ShmelleyGate)
Posted on 01/14/2005 9:27:57 AM PST by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO -- Under threat of a subpoena, embattled Secretary of State Kevin Shelley agreed Thursday to testify voluntarily before a committee investigating his handling of federal election funds.
Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Hanford, the committee's chairwoman, said Shelley would be sworn in as a witness, leaving him vulnerable to possible perjury charges if he lies.
Shelley is willing to testify under oath at the committee's next hearing Feb. 3, said spokeswoman Caren Daniels-Meade.
"If that's what the committee wants, yes," Daniels-Meade said.
Parra's Joint Legislative Audit committee is holding hearings on a stinging audit report that found Shelley mismanaged millions of dollars in federal funds meant for nonpartisan voter education and purchase of electronic voting machines.
Some people hired with the money participated in Democratic Party activities, State Auditor Elaine Howle told the committee.
Separately, the FBI is investigating reports that the Democratic secretary of state may have received major campaign contributions from state funds he helped direct to a San Francisco community center.
At a press conference, Parra announced that Shelley faxed a letter accepting her invitation to testify voluntarily at 9:55 a.m. Thursday. That was five minutes before the deadline she gave him to accept or face a subpoena. She said she then had a "very cordial" telephone conversation with him.
Parra originally gave Shelley a Tuesday deadline, but extended it for two days when he said he needed time to consult with his attorneys.
At Thursday's press conference, Parra acknowledged that the committee does not yet have a plan for how many witnesses to interview or how many documents to seek.
"We will meet with the Republican and Democratic leadership next week to discuss those issues," she said. "We will move swiftly."
At the press conference, Parra found herself reacting to continued criticism of the scope and depth of the hearing into the allegations about Shelley, and she abruptly terminated it before answering many reporters' questions.
She was criticized for days for allowing Shelley to send an aide in his place to the committee's first hearing Monday. At that hearing, she agreed to require Shelley's testimony, voluntarily or not. Shelley's decision Thursday to testify next month did little to quell the criticism.
Assembly Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield said Parra and Democratic leaders appear to make decisions only in reaction to public criticism.
"I really think what's driving the committee now is the reactions outside to the lack of action," McCarthy said.
Let me see if I can get this straight. The democrats have put NICOLE PARRA (the "Queen of Voter Fraud") in charge of investigating the CA Secretary for State. LOL!!!!!!!! http://www.NicoleParra.com
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