A Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit, without prejudice, regarding a Carson candidate’s challenge to the nomination process for the upcoming Nov. 8 election. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit is reviewing a complaint filed against the city clerk regarding possibly committing perjury on an affidavit she signed for her nomination forms.
Dr. Sharma Henderson filed a petition for an administrative writ of mandate contesting nomination forms filed by City Clerk Dr. Khaleah Bradshaw where she signed affidavit’s attesting to signature collection that she is alleged to not have witnessed.
Henderson alleged the City’s treasurer, Monica Cooper, circulated nomination forms on behalf of Bradshaw without her being present during the Chamber of Commerce installation event. Bradshaw then signed an affidavit under penalty of perjury that she witnessed those signatures being collected.
“The basis of the lawsuit was Bradshaw signed the affidavit of circulation saying she circulated them herself, when in fact multiple signatures were collected on her behalf by the city treasurer,” explained Henderson. “You can have someone else collect them, but they have to collect them all and sign off that they witnessed all of the signatures which didn’t happen.”
Henderson has also filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Pubic Integrity Unit.
Bradshaw was appointed to the city clerk position after Myla Rahman resigned from the seat Dec. 7, 2021, which was the day she was sworn in to replace Donesia Gause. Rahman ran on a campaign of it being a “lifetime dream” to serve in an elected capacity but offered no public explanation for resigning.
Rahman ran in a tightly contested race against Monette Gavino and Vera Robles DeWitt.
Bradshaw previously worked at California State University, Dominguez Hills in government relations at the time she was put up for the appointment by Councilman Jawane Hilton during a special city council meeting held Dec. 13, 2021.
When asked why he suggested Bradshaw, who hadn’t given any indication she wanted to be on the council, attributed it to a whim.
“I just threw a name out there and they agreed which surprised me,” said Hilton.
One of his colleagues suggested Gavino, due to her placing second behind Rahman but she wasn’t selected.
Bradshaw agreed with the court’s decision.
“The court came to the right decision,” said Bradshaw. “The allegations were baseless. If Dr. Henderson files again, she will get the same result, and she will have to pay our costs. I hope we can all put this behind us now and move forward.”
Henderson’s filing also made allegations that Vera Robles DeWitt violated election laws for not filing her candidate statement at the same time that she turned in her nomination forms.
“DeWitt submitted her nomination forms on Aug. 12 and her candidates statement Aug. 18 which is against Election Code 13307(2),” Henderson wrote in her filing. “The Checklist for Candidates provided and used by the City Clerk’s office clearly states the candidate statements must be filed together with the nomination forms.”
Henderson was seeking Bradshaw’s resignation from office and withdrawal of her name from the ballot. Actions that DeWitt agreed with.
“Candidate Sharma Henderson has filed a complaint for election violations by the appointed City Clerk saying she needs to resign and the allegations are indeed very serious, including felony perjury,” said DeWitt in a statement she released following the court’s decision. “I call on the District Attorney to immediately investigate and confirm whether Bradshaw indeed perjured herself or not and Carson voters need to know before the ballots are mailed out next month.”
DeWitt is also calling for Bradshaw’s resignation.
“It is unacceptable for the city clerk to not follow the rules when the office has the responsibility for ensuring everyone else follows them,” said Henderson.
The District Attorney’s office confirmed they are reviewing Bradshaw’s nomination circulation affidavit, while the complaint regarding DeWitt’s candidate statement is a civil manner and not subject to their office’s review.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist who appears weekly in the Los Angeles Wave newspaper and can be reached at [email protected].