INDIO – A Coachella Valley Unified School District board member charged with perjury for allegedly lying on candidate nomination forms in order to aid his election chances is slated to appear in court today.
Francisco “Frank” Manuel Becerra, 49, is charged with three counts of felony perjury and one count of false declaration of candidacy for allegedly listing a false home address on three separate campaign nomination forms. He faces more than four years in prison if convicted on all charges, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Becerra provided a Polk Street address in an agricultural area of Thermal on the forms, but prosecutors said he actually lived about three miles away on Middleton Street.
Becerra ran for Trustee Area 3 and defeated incumbent Lowell Kamper and fellow candidate Darlene Berber-Felton, but his alleged actual address should have had him running in Trustee Area 2, against former Coachella Mayor Jesus Gonzalez, according to prosecutors. Gonzalez won after running unopposed for Trustee Area 2.
Investigator Thomas Lambi of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office alleged in an arrest warrant declaration that Becerra listed the Polk address “in order to qualify for a seat on the board, which he would have otherwise not qualified for while residing at the Middleton St. address.”
Despite listing the Polk Street address in his campaign documents, D.A.’s investigators said they found bills, DMV information and other evidence indicating Becerra lived at the Middleton Street address.