Former Lewiston Airport Board Member
by Eric Barker
Chris Clemens allegedly falsely claimed he lived in Nez Perce County in 2016
A former member of the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport Authority Board and one-time interim manager of the airport has been charged with felony perjury for falsely claiming to live in Nez Perce County on a voter registration form.
According to court documents, Christopher H. Clemens, 37, of Lewiston, claimed to have lived in the county when he registered to vote on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016. He will make an initial appearance in Nez Perce County District Court on April 10.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 2nd District Court at Lewiston, the Nez Perce County Auditor's office reported Aug. 31 of last year that Clemens voted fraudulently in the 2016 election. County Auditor Patty O. Weeks provided copies of several documents, including his voter registration form, on which he stated 2704 Clearwater Ave. in Lewiston as his residence for two years and four months.
The affidavit notes that there are two warnings on the form that it is a crime to include fraudulent information. One of the warnings states, "I declare under oath or affirmation that the information herein is true." Clemens signed his name next to the oath.
Lewiston Police Detective Jason Leavitt interviewed Clemens' ex-wife, Erin Clemens, who allegedly told the detective that Clemens had admitted to her that he lied on the form and claimed their business as his residence by using a forged pay stub. The court document notes Erin Clemens said she will testify that there are no living quarters at the business, he never lived at the business, and he lived with her "in the state of Washington at the time of and for years before the election date."
Leavitt also discovered a protection order filed on June, 6, 2016, in Asotin, in which Christopher Clemens was listed as the protected person and his address as 407 Wilson Lane, in Asotin.
The detective also found a Petition for Equitable Division of Property filed in Asotin County and signed by Christopher Clemens and his attorney, Katie Hawkins, on Nov. 29, 2017, that states the couple filed for divorce in Latah County. According to the affidavit, the document indicated a decree of divorce was issued Sept. 26 of 2011, for tax purposes, but the couple continued to live together continuously until their separation in July of 2017.
The case is being handled by Lewis County Prosecutor Zack Paul at the request of Nez Perce County Prosecutor Justin Coleman because of his relationship with Clemens related to the airport authority board. Paul declined to comment on the case other than to say, "we will see where it goes from here."
Court documents list the penalty for perjury as up to 14 years in prison and or a $50,000 fine.
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