Originally published Nov. 6 at 11:53 a.m. / Updated Nov. 6 at 12:41 p.m.
By Galen Patterson
Arcadia city officials issued a formal apology to resident Roger Nemrava at the Nov. 5 City Council meeting. The apology was issued over a miscommunication of facts the city had received regarding voter fraud in the 2018 City Council election.
Namrava originally spoke to the council on Sept. 17, sharing his concerns about one case of voter fraud within the city and fears that there could be more. City officials then declared that the specific votes Nemrava referenced were not counted. “It felt like they deflated my whole argument,” Nemrava said.
However, city officials then discovered that the votes were counted and that Nemrava’s facts were valid, thus spurring the apology.
The votes concern the household of former councilmember John Wuo, whom resides in the 5th District of Arcadia, represented by Mayor Pro Tem Roger Chandler.
We contacted City Manager Dominic Lazaretto for clarification. “The votes from that single address were dealt with by the County Registrar-Recorder’s office. They conducted a review and took action based on complaints from citizens. The people that have re-registered did so upon receiving a warning letter from that office.
“The FPPC conducted several investigations based on complaints filed during 2016. They have issued letters and findings to those involved,” Lazaretto said in an email to Beacon Media News.
Wuo resigned from office in 2015 following his involvement with the Gemcoin scandal in which several officials sold fake cryptocurrency, backed by fake amber mines in the Dominican Republic to create a private slush fund.
During the 2018 election, eight people voted from the Wuo household while no more than three were eventually proven to have resided there. One of the illegal voters owned property claimed as their primary residence in another part of the county.
Findings from the Fair Political Practices Commission report includes the illegal distribution of mailers aimed at supporting then-candidates Roger Chandler and Bob Harbicht and were funded by Attorneys Karlfedlt Su and Joseph Su.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Nemrava told Arcadia Weekly. “My suspicion is that there was a substantial number of illegal votes.”
Nemrava says he spoke out against the voter fraud because he wanted people to be more aware of the now more-educated criminal activity he expects in the upcoming election cycle.