CORRECTION: The Observer apologizes for errors made in the “Follow the Money: OC Board of Ed” article that ran on page 19 of the Mid February issue and in the online story “Board of Ed Candidate Uses Fake News Sites to Promote Campaign”.
Paulette Chaffee was charged by the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) with two misdemeanor counts of Petty Theft related to campaign sign stealing incidents on October 2018, which were caught on video surveillance cameras, and she pleaded guilty on December 20, 2018. However, she was not convicted as our article mistakenly said. Further, OCDA spokeswoman Kimberly Edds confirmed by email on February 27, 2020, that “Ultimately, Ms. Chaffee’s case was dismissed. Thus she did fulfill OCDA’s requirements.”
Requirements included restitution of $20 and fines of $150 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund and $150 in State Restitution. In addition she was to complete community service as directed by OneOC. The agreement read “If defendant completes 60 or more hours of Community Service in 90 days, the People will consider dismissal in the interest of justice. If only 20 hours of Community Service are completed, defendant’s charges to be reduced to infractions via a new complaint.”
The court docket shows that sentencing took place on 3/20/2019 where an “Oral motion by People to dismiss case pursuant to negotiated disposition” was granted along with a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, and the case was dismissed.
The Observer apologizes to Ms. Chaffee and thanks her attorney at the Khouri Law Firm, for alerting the paper to the errors in the articles. The Observer has returned $310 that the Chaffee campaign paid for its ad that ran on the same page.