An Arizona Democratic state lawmaker is in trouble with the law for the second time since being elected for office in 2014.
Representative Cici Velasquez, of Litchfield Park, Arizona, has been indicted for defrauding the government of $1,726 worth of food stamps, and may be forced to resign her position if convicted.
According to her bio, Velasquez is a “second generation Mexican-American”, a paralegal, and an advocate for prisoners’ rights, among other causes.
She was elected to office in November 2014 amid a rocky start, when it was discovered that there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest, for over $2,000 in unpaid court fines related to charges of driving without insurance and on a suspended license. Court records show she has numerous driving violations, dating back to the 1990s, reports the Phoenix New Times.
The state of Arizona also got a tip in November 2014 of potential food stamp fraud, and an extensive investigation has been ongoing since then by the Office of Inspector General. Valesquez is now charged with food stamp fraud activity between 2013 to 2015, for fraudulent schemes and practices, unlawful use of food stamps, and theft. Investigators report Velasquez was uncooperative and refused to be interviewed when confronted with the charges.
An initial hearing is scheduled for July 5 in Maricopa County Superior Court.
She posted on twitter, “I have done nothing wrong! This is a political witch hunt. The public is not being very sympathetic in their twitter replies.
I have done nothing wrong! This is a political witch hunt. I’m confident that justice WILL prevail once all the facts are known!
— Ceci Velasquez (@cecivelasquez_) June 22, 2016
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FBI Searching For MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR Food Stamp Fraudster