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Del Norte County Sheriff resigns following felony voter fraud charges

Courts

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California sheriff resigned this week after he was accused of filing false voter registration and nomination papers with a nonpermanent address, his attorney said.

Del Norte County District Attorney Katherine Micks on Wednesday charged acting Sheriff Randall Waltz, 62, with perjury, filing false voter registration and false declaration of candidacy — all felonies. He has disputed the allegations, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Waltz, formerly the county’s undersheriff, was appointed sheriff in September after his predecessor suddenly resigned. Waltz announced plans to run in the primary election in June but listed on his voter registration a Smith River address where he did not permanently reside, court documents say.

He also used that address for his Feb. 14 declaration of candidacy, allegedly violating the elections code by falsely stating to meet the “statutory and residency requirements to run for the office of sheriff,” the complaint says.

In his Monday resignation letter to the county’s board of supervisors, Waltz said the Smith River address had been legally secured as his permanent residence before he filed the election paperwork. Waltz also said defending the charges will necessarily detract from his ability to perform his duties as sheriff.

“I had never legally ceased being a resident of this County since the County assisted me in relocating here to ultimately become Sheriff,” he wrote in the letter. Waltz was hired as undersheriff in 2020 after working for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Property websites show the address as a furnished rental on U.S. Highway 101 near the Oregon border.

A representative for the district attorney’s office could not be reached Monday evening. An arraignment is scheduled for Waltz later this month.