Compton Has a New Councilman After Election Rigging Scandal

Andre Spicer was sworn into the Compton City Council to represent district 2 on Tuesday, replacing ousted councilman, Isaac Galvan

UPDATE: JUNE 1— The City of Compton welcomed a new councilman to represent its second district on Tuesday after a judge ruled last week that Councilman Isaac Galvan had rigged votes in order to secure his victory in the June 2021 election.

Andre Spicer, a Compton native and entrepreneur, was sworn into office on Tuesday afternoon, officially replacing the ousted councilman.

“We have worked so hard and tirelessly to prove our case and represent for a community who needed it the most,” Spicer told Los Angeles magazine in a statement. “Today is a new beginning for not only myself but [the] 25,000 residents that have been pleading for change.”

He added, “While I am on cloud 9 today, I am ready to get to work immediately to make change to a community I have loved and represented for so long already.”

Spicer posted a series of images from the ceremony on Instagram along with the caption, “Sworn in. Work starts tomorrow. Let’s go”

Spicer will attend his first city council meeting on June 7.

Compton’s mayor Emma Sharif, who was elected to the seat in June, gave Spicer a warm welcome to the city council on Tuesday.

“As we move forward, I am optimistic that the residents of District 2 will be strongly represented by Councilmember Spicer and I anticipate collaborating with him and all my colleagues for the well-being of our residents and our city,” she said in a statement.

When asked how the city will work to prevent corruption in the future, Sharif told NBC Los Angeles, “I think that’s a collaboration of all of us working together.”

She added that she is unaware of Galvan’s whereabouts.

MAY 31— The City of Compton is getting a new representative for its second district on Tuesday after a judge ruled last week that Councilman Isaac Galvan had rigged votes to secure his victory in the June 2021 municipal election, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Galvan will now be replaced by his opponent, Andre Spicer, after Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court found on Friday that four of the votes cast in the election were submitted by people who did not live in the council district.

Galvan and Spicer went to a runoff in the June 2021 election, which Galvan won by a single vote, 855 to 854. Spicer, a Compton native and business owner, contested the election results and Galvan was arrested in August on suspicion of conspiring to commit election fraud.

With the four votes now disqualified, Spicer has been ruled the true winner of the election. He will be sworn into office on Tuesday afternoon.

“I am excited, thrilled, and relieved that Judge Michelle Williams ruled in my favor,” Spicer told ABC7. “We have work so hard and tirelessly to prove our case and represent for a community who needed it the most. Today is a new beginning for not only myself but 25,000 residents that have been pleading for change.”

Spicer and Compton Mayor Emma Sharif did not return calls for comment.

Prosecutors alleged that Galvan schemed with Jace Dawnson—one of his opponents in an April primary for Galvan’s council seat—to obtain voters from outside the council district to cast ballots for Galvan in the June runoff, according to the criminal complaint, the Times reports.

Dawson, along with four others, Kimberly Chaouch, Toni Sanae Morris, Barry Kirk Reed, and Reginald Orlando Streeter were charged with two counts each of conspiracy to commit election fraud last summer, according to the Times. The court ruled on Friday that Chaouch, Morris, Streeter and a man named Jordan Farr Jefferson all voted in the runoff between Galvan and Spicer despite not living in the council district.

About a week after the election, Chaouch admitted that she actually lived in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles and that Dawson had her register to vote from his address, according to court records.

“There’s a couple more that are using his personal address as well,” she said, according to the judge’s ruling. “Jace is the only person that lives there.”

Spicer previously said that Chaouch reached out to his campaign to expose the alleged election scheme. Chaouch also said she was later hired as part of Galvan’s campaign after Dawson told her “they were doing this to stop the long-standing corruption that would only continue if Andre Spicer were to be elected.”

Galvan and Dawson have both pleaded not guilty to election fraud charges, and Chaouch has pleaded no contest to violating election laws.

The revelation of the recent election fraud marks the latest controversy for Galvan, who was first elected in 2013.

In November 2020, investigators served a search warrant at his home as part of an investigation into marijuana licensing practices in Baldwin Park, according to the Times. A former Baldwin Park police officer signed a sworn statement that he’d received complaints from three cannabis dispensary operators who said there had been “questionable business practices, which included paying as much as $250,000 cash in a brown paper bag to city officials.”

Galvan told the Times that the warrant had nothing to do with his work in Compton but declined to discuss whether he had any cannabis business interests in Baldwin Park.

The former councilman was also subpoenaed to testify in grand jury proceedings that resulted in prosecutors bringing corruption and bribery charges against former Maywood Mayor Ramon Medina and nearly a dozen others in 2021. Galvan invoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination during those proceedings and declined to answer questions, an official familiar with the investigation told the Times.

Just last week, an aide to Galvan was arrested in connection to a murder in Downey, according to the Times. David Blake Jr., the son of famed Compton rapper and producer DJ Quik, was taken into custody Thursday after 33-year-old Julio Cardoza was shot in the chest during a fight.

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