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D.A. Won't File Charges Against 'Nurse' in Race

January 26, 1991|JONATHAN GAW | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The district attorney's office said Friday it will not file criminal charges against a Poway home-health aide who won a seat on the Escondido-based Palomar Pomerado Health District board after designating herself a nurse on the ballot in last November's election.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Bob Boles said the affidavit Nancy Scofield signed on the ballot is not subject to perjury laws. Thus, she could not have violated any criminal law by misstating her occupation.

"There doesn't appear to be any particular code section that makes it a crime if you put something false on the affidavit of candidacy," Boles said.

The only sworn document that candidates in the health-district race had to sign was the declaration of candidacy, which verified their name and address and that they were qualified to run, the registrar of voters office said.

Robert Teel, an attorney for the health district, which filed the complaint, said Boles' conclusion was ludicrous and paved the way for a spate of misinformation in future elections.

The district attorney's decision not to pursue criminal charges ends one of three legal challenges to Scofield's election.

The health district also has filed a civil suit in Superior Court to prevent Scofield from taking office and has asked the state attorney general's office to take legal action against her. Both actions are based on the health district's claim that Scofield misled voters.

The health district suit is scheduled to be heard Feb. 14, and the attorney general's office has yet to take action.

Scofield was to have been sworn into office Dec. 7, but has agreed to wait until Feb. 18, after the civil suit is scheduled to be heard.

Scofield, 42, completed a Maric College class for nursing assistants in 1977 and worked for about 10 years as a home-health aide.

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