IRVINE : No Perjury Charge Against Sheridan
The district attorney’s office will not pursue perjury charges against Irvine City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Sally Anne Sheridan for misrepresenting her educational background while under oath for a court deposition.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth O. Chinn said Thursday no action will be taken because Sheridan’s misstatements were irrelevant to the allegations in a lawsuit that dealt with a city ballot measure.
Sheridan had said in a deposition related to Measure D that she had a master’s degree in nursing from Harvard University when she did not. She also listed the degree in about 5,000 campaign mailers sent to constituents.
Measure D, passed in 1988, stated that in certain City Council elections, voters could petition to remove a council candidate who takes a seat left vacant by an incumbent’s election to mayor and hold a special election instead. A lawsuit later was filed to enforce the measure when Cameron Cosgrove took a seat vacated by Mayor-elect Larry Agran, but the judge held that the law did not apply to the 1988 election.
The complaint against Sheridan was brought by Christopher B. Mears, an Irvine attorney who is supporting Agran, Sheridan’s opponent in the June 5 election.
Not only has Mears gone to the district attorney, but he took out a full-page ad in an Irvine weekly newspaper to publicize Sheridan’s misstatements about her education. He now says he will ask the Orange County Grand Jury to investigate the matter.
Chinn said Thursday that if Sheridan had lied about her education in an attempt to qualify as an expert witness in a medical malpractice case, for example, a perjury charge might have been possible.
“For a statement to be perjurious, it must be material to the allegations in the lawsuit,” Chinn said. “She was asked an educational question which was not material to the case.”
Sheridan, who has admitted being untruthful about her Harvard education, said Thursday that Mears’ continued pursuit of her was unfair and a perpetual cheap shot being used for Agran’s benefit.
“This is what I said from the very beginning,” Sheridan said. “He will not be content until he sees me behind bars.”