Felony election fraud case in Nevada County ends in misdemeanor plea
Deidra Vrooman, initially facing a felony accusation of election fraud, has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor fraud charge and been sentenced to probation, attorneys said.
Vrooman, 48, was sentenced Monday to 44 days in jail, which she’s already served. She also will be on probation for six months and pay $246 in fines, Nevada County Superior Court records state.
“I feel like this was a fair resolution,” Deputy District Attorney Casey Ayer said. “I think it is more along the lines of misdemeanor conduct.”
Tamara Zuromskis, deputy public defender, said Vrooman reluctantly accepted a plea deal that included no more jail time. The decision allows her to return to her home on the East Coast.
Additionally, Vrooman entered a specific type of plea in which she admitted no guilt but instead acknowledged a tactical reason to plead, Zuromskis said in an email.
“If she had fought the case, she would have had to find a place to stay in Nevada County for another month while she awaited her trial,” she added.
Vrooman in an email praised Zuromskis.
“I think this whole affair was making a mountain out of a mole hill, and glad in the end I was handled like a compassionate and wise grandparent would have reprimanded me,” Vrooman said.
The case against Vrooman stemmed from an investigation by the state Secretary of State’s Office. Prosecutors had alleged that Vrooman voted twice in the June 2016 primary election, once in Alameda County and again in Nevada County. A judge in April issued an arrest warrant for her and Vrooman was jailed in November. She was released on her own recognizance after a December preliminary hearing.
A similar but unrelated case remains pending.
Celeste Anne Pechar, 60, of Nevada City, is accused of casting ballots in Santa Clara and Nevada counties in the June 2016 election.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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