The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced today that LAUSD President Refugio Rodriguez, and his cousin, Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez were charged for allegedly reimbursing nearly $25,000.00 to donors that he claimed in a campaign filing form.
They were each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit assumed name contribution and 25 misdemeanor counts of assumed name contribution and 25 misdemeanor counts of assumed name contribution.
In addition, Mr. Rodriguez faces one felony count each of perjury and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument. Someone reported a whistleblower complaint, in March 2015, about Rodriguez’s fundraising activities, the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission received this complaint. Rodriguez raised more than $50,000.00 during his first campaign reporting that ended December 31, 2014.
There were 25 donors, most family and friends, who were allegedly paid back $24,250, and the donors’ names were listed on a campaign finance report that was allegedly signed by Rodriguez under the penalty of perjury and submitted to the commission.
Over a 22 day period in December 2014, commission staff found that nearly half of the campaign contributions were allegedly fraudulent because Rodriguez and Melendrez reimbursed them. Rodriguez faces a possible maximum sentence of four years and four months in local custody, while Melendrez faces up to three years in local custody.