Sheriff’s Candidate Convicted of Lying about Law Enforcement Experience

A jury this week convicted a former candidate for Santa Clara County Sheriff of perjury, a felony, for falsely certifying that she had the required experience to run for the elected law enforcement job.

Anh Colton, 51, of Cupertino, was sentenced shortly after the verdict to the time she had already spent in jail for this offense, which totaled, with credits,134 days.

California law requires that candidates for sheriff have at least one year of law enforcement experience within the last five years or a certificate showing advanced training in law enforcement. Colton had neither.

Based on her false certification, Colton was listed on the primary ballot and received more than 4% of the vote, but not enough to have materially changed the outcome.

“Certifying falsely under penalty of perjury is a serious matter, and in an election case such as this one could prevent a legitimate candidate from making the runoff or even winning outright,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.

The District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations began looking at Colton’s qualifications before the primary election in 2022. By the time the investigation was able to definitively determine that Colton did not meet the statutory requirements, the ballots with her name on them had already been mailed out.

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