July 28 2016 08:30 AM

LCC candidate being investigated for perjury over campaign papers

THURSDAY, July 28 — A Lansing Community College trustee candidate committed perjury by filing false campaign information before a notary public, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum alleged today.

Byrum said the candidate, Angela Mathews, owes $1,300 in fines for previous campaign violations from when she ran for the LCC board in 2014 but claimed she owed nothing. She said Mathews also committed perjury when she claimed she had filed all previous campaign forms for the same race. Perjury is a felony under state law.

Mathews also failed to register a candidate committee for the 2014 race, which is a misdemeanor, Byrum said.

Byrum said she has reported the alleged violations to the Mason Police Department for investigation. If charged and convicted, Mathews could face up to five years in prison as well as a possible $1,000 fine.

Mathews is an employee of the Ingham County Register of Deeds office.

She declined immediate comment.

Mathews registered to get on the ballot for a six-year term on the board on Tuesday just before the filing deadline. As part of registering to run, candidates fill out and sign an “Affidavit of Identity.” That document is signed under penalty of perjury.

That document includes an acknowledgement that all reports, fines and fees related to the candidate’s bids for political office have been paid.

While Mathews signed that affidavit, county clerk records show she owes $1,300 in fines for failing to file not only a candidate campaign committee, but also for failing to file required fundraising reports.

“I contacted law enforcement as it was clear to me that she committed a felony when she signed the Affidavit of Identity” in front of a notary public, Byrum said by text message.

In signing the affidavit, Mathews acknowledged “making a false statement in this affidavit is perjury.”

Mathews is one of five candidates vying for three six-year terms on the Board. The other candidates are Alex Azima, Ryan Buck, Robert Proctor and Thomas Morgan. A fourth seat is also up for grabs in November. That’s a partial four-year one to complete the term of Judith O’Berry, who resigned her seat in October 2015, after serving only a year. Board member Larry Meyer has filed for that seat.

Mathews’ name will appear on the ballot unless she files to have it removed by 4 p.m. tomorrow.