Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release: September 9, 2014
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney has charged Orange County Assessor Webster Guillory with filing false nomination papers in a re-election bid for County Assessor in the March 2014 Orange County primary election. Webster James Guillory, 70, Newport Beach, is charged with three felony counts of filing false nomination papers and faces a possible sentence ranging from probation up to four years and four months in jail if convicted. He is expected to be released on his own recognizance and arraigned Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at the Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The Department is to be determined.
At the time of the incident, Guillory was the four-term elected County Assessor for the Orange County Office of the Assessor.
To appear as an Assessor candidate on the ballot for a primary election, a person must file required paperwork, including nomination papers, with the Registrar of Voters by 5:00 p.m. on the filing deadline date. A nomination paper is a petition that can be signed by Orange County registered voters to support the candidacy of/nominate the candidate. Each petition page has space for 10 voter signatures. For the Office of Assessor, a candidate must submit 20 valid signatures of registered voters on nomination papers to qualify as a candidate and appear on the ballot.
Nomination papers cannot legally be accepted by the Registrar of Voters unless an affidavit is signed at the end of each page by the signature collector stating that he/she personally circulated the nomination paper and witnessed the signatures being written. The signature collector does not need to be the candidate, but the actual signature collector must be the person to sign each affidavit.
Circumstances of the Case
The filing deadline for the 2014 Orange County primary election was March 7, 2014, at 5:00 p.m.
On the afternoon of March 7, 2014, Guillory collected signatures on two petitions, nine on the first and two on the second. Guillory is accused of also receiving petitions circulated by his associate, who gathered and collected three full pages of 10 signatures each.
Knowing that he had not personally collected the signatures or witnessed them being written, Guillory is accused of signing his name on two of the 10-signature petitions collected by his associate under the affidavit that reads, “I circulated the petition and witnessed the signatures on this section of the nomination paper being written.” He is accused of requesting another colleague to falsely sign the third petition.
Shortly before the end-of-day filing deadline, Guillory is accused of fraudulently filing the three nomination papers at the Registrar of Voters, knowing the information each contained about who had personally circulated the petitions and collected the signatures was untrue.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation received a confidential complaint and investigated this case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Director of Public Affairs