Nevada County prosecutors dismiss election fraud case | TheUnion.com

Nevada County prosecutors dismiss election fraud case

The second of two Nevada County election fraud cases has ended with prosecutors dismissing the accusation.

Celeste Anne Pechar, 60, of Nevada City, was accused of casting ballots in Santa Clara and Nevada counties in the June 2016 election. Prosecutors said they opted to dismiss the case last month after reviewing information provided by Pechar’s defense attorney, Jennifer Walters.

“I think it was a travesty that it was filed in the first place,” Walters said of the accusation. “It was terribly stressful for her.”

According to Deputy District Attorney Casey Ayer, Pechar voted in Santa Clara County and then moved to Nevada County, where she bought a home. She updated her driver’s license information and received a prompt to change her voter registration. Pechar then received a ballot days later.

Pechar’s voter registration change occurred within two days of Santa Clara receiving her ballot there, Ayer added.

“I think what it showed was that she was in the process of moving and didn’t realize that she had voted twice in that same election,” Ayer said.

Pechar’s case differs from that of Deidra Vrooman, who also faced an election fraud accusation, the prosecutor added.

In January Vrooman pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor fraud charge and was sentenced to probation. Ayer said Vrooman came to Nevada County, registered to vote in person and then cast her ballot after already voting in Alameda County.

“They were differently situated,” Walters said of the two cases. “They deserved to be treated differently.”

The state Secretary of State’s Office first voiced the accusations against the women. It investigated and then passed the cases to the local District Attorney’s Office. Local prosecutors filed charges against the pair in April, reports state.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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