HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission on Wednesday referred a case involving state Rep. Christina Ayala’s alleged fraudulent voting to the Chief State’s Attorney’s office for a criminal investigation.
The panel recommended the Chief State’s Attorney review whether the Democrat committed five election-related crimes. It also recommended that Ayala’s mother, the Bridgeport Democratic Registrar of Voters, Santa Ayala, be investigated on two charges stemming from her possible cooperation with the daughter.
A commission investigation found Christina Ayala falsely registered to vote in July 2009 at a Bridgeport address where she’s not a bona fide resident. She remained registered at that address until January 2013 and voted in nine primaries and elections. She also applied for public campaign financing from that address.
A message left with Ayala’s legislative office seeking comment was not immediately returned.
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey removed Ayala on Wednesday from her legislative committee assignments.
“For an elected official, maintaining the public trust is paramount,” he said in a written statement. “The fact that this case has moved to a different level calls into question whether that trust has been breached.”
In June, Ayala pleaded no contest to motor vehicle charges stemming from a 2012 hit-and-run accident in Bridgeport in which a 26-year-old woman was injured. Ayala said she panicked and regretted her misjudgment. In March, prosecutors dropped domestic violence charges against Ayala after she was charged with slapping her then-boyfriend, Pedro Rodriguez.
Rodriquez was subsequently charged in September with torching Ayala’s car and her sister’s car following a dispute at a Bridgeport restaurant
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