SF Ballot Thief Has 'Bizarre' Court Hearing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Karl Bradfield Nicholas will stay in jail for another week.

    A man plead guilty to pilfering ballots, a voter roster and other sensitive election materials from the San Francisco polling station he worked at last year -- stuff he later pitched into the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts.

    And now for the weird part.

    Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, will remain in jail for another week awaiting his final sentence after he held up court proceedings in a "bizarre" display on Friday, according to the San Francisco Appeal.

    Nicholas was in the process of receiving his sentence when he said he couldn't comply with an order to return to the Department of Elections the ballot machine's memory box and key, which were not found floating in the lagoon with the ballots. Both the judge and the prosecutor informed Nicholas that both needed to be recovered, which prompted Nicholas to ask his defense attorney to have another judge sentence him.

    Defense attorney Stuart Blumstein said outside of court that Nicholas did not want Judge Susan Breall to sentence him because he felt she was "intimidating him." This means he can ask for the judge who accepted his plea. But the judge who accepted the plea will not be available until July 11, so the sentencing hearing was rescheduled for that date.

    Blumstein argued that Nicholas should still be released on Tuesday, according to the newspaper. "For some reason we want to keep him in longer," he said. "That's not fair."

    Judge Breall refused, saying "we can't do anything until he's sentenced" and added that "he is lucky to get the resolution that he got."

    Nicholas' plea deal also included three year's probation and an order to stay away from polling places in the city.