A Lodi city councilman representing District 4 was released from jail last week after being suspected of voter fraud during the 2020 elections.

Shakir Khan went before a judge Friday flashing two thumbs up to the courtroom. He is set to appear in court for further arraignment at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

He was arraigned on 14 felony counts involving election fraud that allegedly took place from June 1 to Nov. 3, said the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office in a press release.

Khan’s charges included causing or procuring false voter registration, submission of fraudulent registration to Secretary of State, false nomination or declaration of candidacy and fraudulently casting votes.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department said they suspected fraud during an investigation against Khan and his brother related to illegal gambling, money laundering, unemployment claim fraud and tax invasion. The public also voiced concerns about the county’s election process.

“Our investigation uncovered that councilman Shakir Khan has attempted to undermine, manipulate, and violate one of our most fundamental rights here in our county…and that is the right to free and fair elections,” said Sheriff Patrick Withrow, who added that it appeared the councilman targeted members of his own Pakistani community.

Supporters of Lodi City Council Member Shakir Khan hold signs protesting his arrest during arraignment outside San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton, Calif., on Feb. 16, 2023. (Harika Maddala/Bay City News/Catchlight Local)

Outside of the Stockton courthouse, supporters of the councilman stood with signs protesting his arrest that read “Free their father” and “Free Shakir!!!!!”

Deputies allege that during the execution of a 2020 search warrant for Khan’s residence, they found 41 mail-in ballots and later learned that 23 people were registered to vote at Khan’s home, and 47 others were registered to vote using his email and phone number.

The Sheriff’s department said most registrations were new and submitted to the Secretary of State in a similar time frame.

Lodi’s mayor, Mikey Hothi, said in a social media video that he visited Khan while he was detained and asked for his resignation as councilman. He said Khan agreed.

Khan’s attorney was not immediately available for comment to verify the resignation. 

At a press conference held by the county’s sheriff’s department, videos were shown of people testifying Khan had pressured them into voting or had filled out their ballot for them.

In September 2021, Khan had violated a bail agreement by going on trips outside of the state and posting photos to social media, said the Sheriff’s Department at the press conference.

A further compliance check on Khan after the violation revealed more ballots inside his home that were not for his residence, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“The City takes challenges to electoral integrity seriously and is consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps,” the city of Lodi posted to their social media page.

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