BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Palmer Moland, a Fairfax School District trustee charged with falsifying election documents and misappropriating public funds, pleaded not guilty Thursday to seven felonies.
Moland, 34, is due back in court Oct. 10.
According to the district attorney’s office, Moland faces permanent disqualification from holding office if convicted. He was arrested Tuesday.
The district is cooperating with the District Attorney’s office and following the case, officials said in a news release.
“Our commitment as a district is and must remain educating and supporting our students, and we are confident our leadership and staff will ensure this continues to be our top priority as we move forward together,” District Superintendent Lora Brown said in the release.
According to prosecutors, Moland ignored bylaws that restrict using public funds to hire a law firm that was set to investigate him. Prosecutors say he should have abstained from voting to hire the firm because it posed a conflict of interest.
Moland is also charged with voter fraud and allegedly lied about living within the district during the 2018 and 2020 elections.