EXCLUSIVE: Cap and Trade Senator Lived Outside District When Elected; Accused of Tax Fraud
In a recent newspaper article, Senator Tom Berryhill freely admitted that he no longer lives in his own senate district and stated that he "legally can represent a senate district in which he doesn’t live as long as he resided there when elected."
After conducting a thorough review of publicly available information and government documents, American Children First believes State Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) did not legally reside within Senate District 8 (map) at the time he was elected in 2014. We call upon the Stanislaus and Tuolumne County District Attorneys to investigate the matter thoroughly.
Summary of Allegations
- Berryhill's true principal residence is in the City of Modesto outside of his district boundaries
- Tom and Loretta Berryhill are registered to vote at the Modesto home
- Berryhill committed voter registration fraud and perjury on Declaration of Candidacy when he claimed the Twain Harte home as his residence in 2014.
- He committed tax fraud by way of claiming a homeowner's exemption in Stanislaus County for the Modesto home from 2012 to 2017 which overlapped the period of time he claimed to live in Twain Harte.
Berryhill's primary residence is 7110 Leer Ct. which is located in the City of Modesto in Stanislaus County. It is actually in Senate District 5 (map) represented by Democrat Cathleen Galgiani. Just two weeks ago the Modesto Bee reported that he lived in Modesto while discussing his next potential political move.
He also owns a vacation cabin in Twain Harte which is in Tuolumne County and actually is within Senate District 8.
You can find out what district any address is in by entering the information at this link.
Any person with an ounce of common sense will see that Berryhill has deceived voters and broken the law. It is our hope that he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible and given a punishment similar to the one handed out to disgraced Democrat State Senator Rod Wright.
He admits he does not live in his district now and it is plainly obvious that he never lived in his district during the period in which he filed re-election papers and was subsequently re-elected.
Here are the facts:
- On his Declaration of Candidacy form filed with Tuolumne County Registrar of Voters, Berryhill claimed to reside at 19918 Middle Camp-Sugar Pine Road in Twain Harte. This is actually a vacation cabin that only has two bedrooms and one bathroom.
- He also owns a million dollar home in the exclusive Del Rio Country Club neighborhood of Modesto. It is located at 7110 Leer Ct.
- Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters employee named "Maria" confirmed to me over the phone this morning that a Tom and Loretta Berryhill are registered to vote at 7110 Leer Ct.
- One of Berryhill's daughters attends Grace M. Davis High School in Modesto. A review of her Facebook page features pictures of her playing soccer while wearing a uniform emblazoned with the school mascot. Additionally, you can see her performance results for various school team sports in the local papers.
- Door-to-door the Twain Harte cabin is 61.7 miles and up to 90 minute morning commute away from her school. The million dollar home is just 5.1 miles away.
- According to the Stanislaus County Assessor's website, Berryhill has claimed a homeowner's exemption (see image below for most recent year) for the million dollar home (APN# 004-096-011-000) each year since 2012 -- before he sought re-election in 2014.
- No such exemption was claimed for the vacation cabin according to the Tuolumne County website (APN# 047-050-012-000).
- Homeowner exemptions can only be claimed on a property that you own and use as your principal place of residence. It cannot be claimed on vacation or secondary homes per Section 218 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
So, you tell me. What would common sense indicate?
Scenario 1: Senator Tom Berryhill loves his family dearly, but chooses to spend his time living way out in Twain Harte in a 2BR/1BA cabin all alone when he is not in Sacramento.
Scenario 2: The Berryhill Clan lives together in the quaint cabin even though dad is away most of each week in Sacramento from Mon-Thurs. For several years, Momma Berryhill elects to drive her daughter more than an hour and 60 miles each way to school every morning. Maybe she hangs out in town to kill a few hours and then picks her up after school and drives her home. Or maybe she drives all the way back home to Twain Harte, does some household chores, and then hops back in the car to go pick their daughter up from school. Maybe the daughter now drives herself to school an hour plus each way, every day, and manages to juggle soccer practice, extracurriuclars, a job, and homework.
Scenario 3: The family lives in the million dollar home in the exclusive country club area of Modesto that is just five miles from their daughter's high school but also outside dad's senate district.
What do you think is the likely scenario?
We all know that Senator Berryhill never lived in Twain Harte and simply used it as a fake address to claim residency in a district he does not live in.
Either way, some law is being broken whether it be the elections code concerning residency and voter registration or the tax code concerning the homeowner's exemption. It is impossible to simultaneously claim one address as your primary residence for tax purposes and another as your primary residence while seeking to run for office.
Ways to Prove I Am Wrong
I am capable of admitting that I may be wrong. Perhaps, there is a reasonable explanation for all of this.
I would think that the following information would clear some things up:
- Any school district transfer documentation between the respective school districts in Twain Harte and Modesto.
- Electric and gas bills for each address along with a daily breakout of consumption and usage to ascertain where the family is spending its time.
- Landline and cell phone tower pings - let's see how many calls made from the family phones are originating from cell phone towers in Modesto versus Twain Harter or off of landlines, if applicable, at either home.
Draining the Sacramento Swamp
The eight Republicans who went up on the cap and trade bill need to be furiously targeted and shamed -- as do the other Republicans that have refused to publicly oppose and condemn the failed leadership of Assemblyman Chad Mayes.
I have said it once and I will say it again. Assemblyman Chad Mayes betrayed his voters and Republican activists. He must resign his position as the Assembly GOP Leader.
I have openly and plainly stated that we will employ whatever tactics we can use to place as much pressure as possible on those elected officials and party leaders who refuse to publicly condemn and call for the ouster of Mayes.