Flash: Kavanagh Arrested, Charged with Five Felonies

By Judith Scherr
Friday September 21, 2007

Berkeley Rent Board member Chris Kavanagh was arrested Friday morning by Oakland police and is currently (Friday afternoon) in Santa Rita jail, according to his attorney, James Giller. The date of his arraignment has not been set. 

Kavanagh is charged with five felonies, according to Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff, who spoke to the Planet Friday afternoon. 

“The first three relate to voter fraud,” Orloff said. One is registering to vote where he is not eligible, the second is voting where he is not eligible to vote, and the third is filing a false declaration. 

The fourth count is perjury and the fifth is grand theft, relating to having accepted a stipend and health benefits as a rent board member. 

Questions about whether Kavanagh, an elected official, lives in Oakland or Berkeley surfaced earlier this year when new landlords Lynn and Pat Tidd attempted to evict Kavanagh from a cottage on 63rd Street in Oakland, where his name is on the lease. 

Kavanagh has told fellow rent board members that he lives in Berkeley, but has a girlfriend in Oakland. 

Lynn Tidd sent e-mails to the media saying: “We had the pleasure of watching Chris Kavanagh arrested this morning shortly after leaving his home of six years, 338 63rd Street. His home will be searched within the hour.” 

In a phone interview Friday afternoon, Tidd told the Planet that she had helped alert police to when Kavanagh was at the house, since, she said, he had been observed there infrequently over the last couple of weeks.  

At about 6 a.m., Kavanagh “was walking up 63rd Street getting coffee. Police walked up to him and put him in a police car,” said Tidd, who lives in a unit in front of the house and observed the arrest.