The Latest — Friday, Feb. 17:
Shakir Khan said he would not be resigning in an interview with KCRA as he left jail.
Original story below:
(KTXL) — Shakir Khan’s resignation status from the Lodi City Council remains unclear after he was arrested on suspicion of election fraud charges.
Khan was arrested and booked into San Joaquin County Jail on Thursday and appeared in court for an arraignment Friday.
As Khan faced a judge Friday, another case is moving forward that accuses him and his brothers of running illegal internet gambling hubs at two of his business.
Weeks before he was elected to the city council, Khan was arrested in 2020 for previous charges related to illegal gambling, money laundering, tax evasion, and EDD fraud. He’s slated to appear in court for that case on Tuesday.
Here is a breakdown of Khan’s charges in the two separate court cases.
What are Khan’s new charges?
Khan is currently in custody at the San Joaquin County Jail.
According to the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office, here are the charges Khan is facing stemming from the 2020 Election:
•Causing/procuring/allowing false voter registration of self/another person
•Submission of fraudulent registration to the Secretary of State
•Submission of fraudulent Candidacy petition
•Aiding/abetting the commission of fraud at any election
•Subscription of fictitious names to nomination petitions
•False nomination/declaration of candidacy
•Fraudulenty casting votes
•Procuring/assisting/counseling/advising another not qualified to vote
San Joaquin County Sheriff Patrick Withrow said the charges were sparked by an earlier investigation that started in 2019 regarding Khan’s prior allegations. Withrow added that citizens were concerned about the election process.
“Our investigation uncovered that councilman Shakir Khan has attempted to undermine, manipulate and violate one of our most fundamental rights here in our country, and that is the right to free and fair elections,” Withrow said in a press conference Thursday.
“It appears councilman Shakir Khan has targeted members of his own community, our Pakistani community in the north county,” Withrow continued. “And we are doing everything we can to work with them to make sure that they are protected and that any damage done to them or their families is corrected by this man’s actions.”
During the earlier investigation regarding alleged illegal gambling sites in Stockton, officials said they searched a business they said was owned by Khan and later his residence.
When they searched Khan’s home, 41 sealed and completed mail-in ballots were allegedly found. At the time, Khan was running for the District 4 seat on the Lodi City Council.
“When we saw this, we thought that something was off here and we didn’t know we had a crime at this particular point because there was a recent change in election law and people can turn in ballots on behalf of another,” Capt. Art Harty of the sheriff’s office said in the press conference.
Officials from the sheriff’s office said Thursday there were 23 names registered to vote at Khan’s address and 47 others were registered to vote at other addresses but used Khan’s email and phone number.
While filing for his candidacy for the District 4 seat, Khan allegedly had his brother fly from Pakistan to change a business to his name, but on candidacy papers, Khan lists himself as the owner. The sheriff’s office also questioned the signatures Khan gathered for candidacy.
Authorities alleged there was an issue with his signature verification, as Khan’s candidacy report shows signatures that didn’t match signatures on the DMV’s database.
During the press conference, the sheriff’s office shared body camera footage, showing conversations between deputies and people who purportedly filled out ballots in support of Khan. The videos allegedly show people telling authorities that Khan pressured them to vote for him, or that Khan signed them himself.
According to the sheriff’s office, two or three people who live outside of the country, along with other people not in District 4 in Lodi, allegedly voted for Khan.
The sheriff’s office says that after Khan found out about the investigation, he posted a social media video of himself in his native language of Urdu, telling people to “say that you filled out your ballot if you are questioned.”
Khan’s previous charges
Khan’s arrest Thursday came a day after the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office announced he was “held to answer” on charges related to an investigation and arrest that took place in the weeks before Khan first won an election in 2020.
According to DA’s office, here are the charges Khan was “held to answer:”
•Employment Development Department (EDD) fraud
He was arrested on those charges when he was a candidate for city council. Prosecutors in San Joaquin County accused Khan and his two brothers, Zakir Khan and Mohammed Khan, of running illegal internet gambling hubs at two of his business.
After Khan was released, he was forbidden to leave the state or country under an agreement known as “Own Recognizance.” The sheriff’s office said that as a sitting councilman, Khan allegedly posted social media photos that showed him in New York and Hawaii, as well as on a taxpayer-funded trip to Washington DC.