Jury finds Edith Knight guilty of electioneering

June 6, 2017

Edith Knight

After just 20 minutes of deliberations, a jury on Monday found 86-year-old Edith Knight guilty of electioneering. San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen then imposed a $500 fine.

On June 7, Knight said she called 30 to 40 people attempting to get out the vote. Two men, Stephen Williams and Charles Kleeman, claimed they heard Knight soliciting a vote for District 4 Supervisor Debbie Arnold at a polling place. Knight denied the allegation saying she never mentioned Arnold while making the calls.

It is against the law to campaign or electioneer within 100 feet of a polling place.

At the time, both Williams and Kleeman were working for Arnold’s challenger, Eric Michielssen.

While Knights attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said the allegations appeared to be politically motivated, Deputy Attorney General Abtin Amir argued that Michielssen was a nonpartisan candidate.

Following the verdict, Funke-Bilu said that if his client had been a Democrat charges would never have been filed.

“I think it’s a political statement, but the power of the state is huge and you have to deal with it,” Funke-Bilu said

Before the trial, the Attorney General’s Office offered to drop the charges and any fines if Knight agreed to admit she was guilty and apologize. Knight declined the offer.

Knight said she does not plan to appeal the judgement because of health issues and that she is relieved to have the trial behind her.

“I am relieved right now,” Knight said following the verdict. “I am still not guilty.”







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25 Comments

  1. Incredulous1 says:

    Yeah, she’s real innocent. At least “30 – 40” phone calls made. With a Debbie Arnold campaign phone.

    https://calcoastnews.com/2017/06/jury-finds-edith-knight-guilty-electioneering/

    For a poll worker, that’s pretty bold. She says she was just trying in a non-partisan way to “get the vote out”. Yet googling her after reading this story I found that she is “an elected member of the Republican Central Committee” and that she, and (I assume) her husband, Delbert, are BIG donators to the Republican party, having “officially” given around $7,500.

    http://www.city-data.com/elec2/elec-ATASCADERO-CA.html

    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/crime/article154518674.html

    (See relation to Delbert here)
    https://www.intelius.com/people/Edith-Knight/Atascadero-CA/060P3QRCDNT

    Keep in mind that the D.A.’s office (from the Tribune article above) “offered to dismiss the charges and any fines if Knight agreed to admit guilt and apologize. She declined.” So that meant taxpayers had to foot the bill, “her legal expenses were supported by the public”.

    Playing the innocent ‘little old lady’ doesn’t cut it.

    I’m not surprised though that Debbie Arnold’s campaign was involved.

    >”Following the verdict, Funke-Bilu said that if his client had been a Democrat charges would never have been filed.”

    A stupid, wild, just throw out any lame excuse for losing comment.

    Republicans have been good at claiming the mantle of the party of ethics. Where are those ethics now?

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. Slosum says:

    Thank God they got that horrible vicious old lady. Not. What in God’s name have we come to? And who the hell is this Amir dude? This whole thing stinks.

    (12) 38 Total Votes - 25 up - 13 down

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