School Board Recall Activist Charged With Violating State Election Code

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
December 12th, 2001

Contact: DDA Pete Pierce (714) 347-8549

SANTA ANA — After an extensive investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Office, nine criminal counts alleging violation of the state election code were filed against an activist in the successful Orange Unified School District recall election.

Raymond Busch (DOB 5-23-44) of Orange was charged with falsely signing nine recall petitions, swearing that he had gathered the signatures of registered voters to unseat three school board members. The signature drive was part of an organized recall effort, which qualified for a special election on June 26. The recall was successful against the three targeted board members.

Busch is a counselor at the district’s Regional Occupation Program (ROP) in which adult education and vocational skills are taught. He is also an active member of the Orange Unified Education Association (OUEA), which is the teachers’ union. OUEA strongly supported the recall and Busch admitted that he played an active role in gathering signatures.

State law requires recall petition circulators to be registered voters within the district of the election officials who are being recalled. Busch met these criteria, however an investigation revealed that he was not the person who had circulated these petitions, which were signed on Nov. 7 and Dec. 1, 2000.  Most of the people who did sign these nine petitions were adult students in ROP classes.  Most said they signed the petitions at the urging of their ROP teachers, during breaks from classes at the ROP campus in Orange.

If convicted, Busch faces a maximum sentence of one year per count in jail. He has been ordered to appear for his arraignment on Jan. 7, 2002.