Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s new campaign manager has previously faced accusations of financial fraud for allegedly using organization funds on personal expenses.
The new campaign manager, Roza Calderon, was accused by the Placer Women Democrats in 2017 of spending almost $1,900 from the organization’s bank account on multiple personal expenses, including one instance in which the manager allegedly spent organization funds on tickets to a concert, according to reporting from Politico Thursday.
The group alleges that Calderon, who was serving as a volunteer treasurer at the time and had access to the organization’s online accounting ledger, used the credit card for not only the concert tickets, but also for personal expenses such as gasoline and movie downloads.
The Placer Women Democrats eventually filed a police report against Calderon, who was also running an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. House in California’s 4th District at the time, while the former treasurer, Sharleen Finn, alleged that Calderon attempted to delete internal files to cover up the fraud.
‘When she was confronted about it, [her response] first sort of went into denial. And then later when the proof was coming out in terms of receipts and things that people had gathered, she said she would pay it back,’ Kathleen Crawford, who now serves as the chair of the Placer County Democratic Central Committee and was involved with the organization at the time of the alleged fraud, told Politico.
Asked about Calderon’s new role with the Williamson campaign, Crawford said she hopes Calderon has since been updated on the rules.
‘I’m hoping that Roza has learned lessons, and she has a professional accounting firm and has learned the rules,’ Crawford told Politico.
Crawford said the group would typically only raise $5,000 to $10,000 for an entire election cycle, making any misuse of the funds a large issue.
Calderon eventually returned $1,900 to the organization after being confronted about the issue, but has denied the accusation of fraud to local news outlets.
The case was settled in court in 2019, with a judge ordering Calderon to write an apology letter to the Placer Women Democrats and barring her from taking any positions ‘of trust’ for elder or dependent adults.
Reached for comment by Fox News Digital, the Williamson campaign argued the issue has ‘been set aside and dismissed by the Superior Court of Placer County.’
‘Once again, we’re forced to respond to an apparent political ‘hit’ piece on newly appointed Campaign Manager, Roza Calderon and disproven allegations that were cleared several years ago,’ the campaign said in a statement.
‘These on-going attacks on the Marianne Williamson campaign are again an effort to diminish the significance of her second run for President and now, the corporate media establishment is waging war on campaign staffers,’ the statement continued. ‘We’re confident in the leadership abilities of Roza Calderon and happy to have her on board to lead this campaign to victory.’
Calderon also faces accusations of embellishing her experience prior to joining the Williamson campaign, falsely claiming on Linkedin to having served as the director of development for the progressive nonprofit Our Revolution from December 2022 to April 2023. However, a spokesperson for the organization told Politico that Calderon only served as a contract fundraiser.
‘Ms. Calderon was never an employee of Our Revolution, nor was she authorized to represent herself as the organization’s Development or Finance Director,’ a spokesperson for Our Revolution told Politico.