BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against a member of the Fairfax School District’s Board of Trustees, which include violating conflict of interest statutes, falsification of election documents, misappropriation of public funds and voter fraud according to a news release from the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.
The DA’s office said Palmer Moland was arrested by investigators Tuesday and charged with six felony counts.
Other charges against Moland allege he did not live within the Fairfax School District when he ran for office and the school board, according to the DA, which is a qualification for the office Moland holds.
According to the DA, Moland ignored bylaws that restrict using public funds to hire a law firm that was set to investigate Moland. Additionally, Moland was not allowed to vote to hire said law firm because the firm was supposed to overrule a motion to censure Moland and limit his own exposure to public records requests related to the censure, according to the DA’s office.
Moland is also charged with voter fraud and allegedly lied about his residence during the 2018 and 2020 elections in which he voted.
Moland faces permanent disqualification from holding office, according to the DA’s office.
“Elected public officials hold positions that demand the public’s trust,” said DA Cynthia Zimmer in the release. “When a public official obtains and holds such a position through deceptive and unlawful practices, the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit will investigate and take actions necessary to hold offenders accountable.”