The judge in the case did raise concerns over previous allegations but ultimately granted Khan’s release on zero bail.
STOCKTON, Calif. — A judge granted Shakir Khan’s release on his own recognizance on Friday after the Lodi council member appeared in court a day after his arrest on election fraud charges.
Khan was wearing an orange jumpsuit and seemingly in good spirits, showing thumbs up to the members of the media and pumping his fists in the air as he walked into a Stockton courtroom.
His attorney Allen Sawyer advocated for his release so Khan can return home with his family while ongoing investigations and proceedings in the case continue. Friends and family members calling for his release came out to show their support.
Khan faces multiple felony charges that stem from the 2020 election. He is accused of stashing 41 ballots at his home. Investigators also say he registered 23 people to vote at his home and that his email and phone number were used to register 47 others. Body camera footage showed voters telling detectives how Khan allegedly pressured them to vote for him and how he allegedly falsified voter registration documents.
The latest developments come amid a back-and-forth between Lodi’s mayor and Khan’s lawyer on whether the council member has resigned his seat.
The mayor said Khan resigned, but his attorney said he did not.
KCRA 3’s Melanie Wingo spoke with Khan shortly after his release on Friday night.
“I did not resign from the city council seat and I am going to continue to serve my community. I would like people to please withhold your judgment, I will fight my charges,” Khan said.
The election fraud investigation is separate from another criminal case involving Khan and his brother, who were previously charged with illegal gambling, money laundering, tax evasion and EDD fraud. They are next due in court in that case on Feb. 21 for another arraignment in that case where they are expected to enter a plea and then face trial.
Khan’s attorney argued in court Friday that his client should be released because he did not commit a violent crime and posed no threat to public safety.
The judge in the case did raise concerns over the previous allegations, but ultimately granted Khan’s release on his own recognizance with zero bail.
“It’s the same [conditions] that they previously were on the other case,” Khan’s attorney Allen Sawyer said. “Obey all laws. Don’t leave the state of California. He has a GPS on him to make sure that he does that. He’s subject to search.”
The judge also ordered that Khan must remain in contact with his attorney and emphasized to him no new charges as the process continues.
The councilmember’s brother, Zakir Khan, was among the demonstrators outside the courthouse.
Zakir disputed the allegations made against his brother and criticized the Sheriff’s department’s handling of the election fraud investigation, saying that things should have been handled differently.
“They went to people’s houses and exposed their privacy and then bring it all on social media, which is not right,” Zakir said.
Sheriff Patrick Withrow was present during Friday’s court hearing and addressed these concerns.
“I think this is just the opposite,” Withrow tells KCRA. “It’s the most fair way to go out and about and thoroughly investigate. We didn’t do a two-week investigation; it took years to go through every little part of this to make sure that everything was examined on all sides.”
He adds that the department worked with translators during the investigation and that they were careful to ask the exact same questions to each witness during the interviewing process.
Click here to read the full article at KCRA
TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT CITIZENS JOURNAL Please keep us publishing – DONATE