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The original item was published from 7/22/2021 8:31:00 AM to 7/23/2021 2:10:04 PM.

News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: July 13, 2021

[ARCHIVED] News Release: Former Clerk-Recorder Joe Canciamilla Pled Guilty to 9 Counts




Contact: Scott Alonso, 925-957-8638

[email protected] 



            Martinez, Calif. – Yesterday, defendant Joe Canciamilla pled guilty to perjury and grand theft, totaling nine counts, for illegal activity tied to his multiple political campaign bank accounts. The District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Canciamilla last year. Canciamilla previously served as the Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder and resigned in 2019. 


Canciamilla will serve 365 days in county jail per his guilty plea. Per the court, the Sheriff’s Office will determine how the custody time will be served. In addition, he was sentenced to two years formal probation by the Honorable Leslie G. Landu. Due to his felony conviction, Canciamilla will not be able to act as an attorney and he will report his criminal conviction to the California State Bar. Further, he may no longer hold public office or any other elected office.


Canciamilla committed felony perjury for his misstatements on campaign disclosure statements (Form 460s). Canciamilla signed these campaign finance statements under the penalty of perjury. The illegal activity was conducted from 2010 to 2016. The grand theft counts against Canciamilla related to the use of campaign funds for his personal use.


The personal expenditures made by Canciamilla’s campaign committees for his own personal use were:


  • Personal vacation to Asia
  • Restaurants 
  • Airfare via Southwest Airlines and American Airlines 
  • Repayment of a Personal Loan
  • Transfers from his Campaign Bank Accounts to his Personal Accounts 


In 2019, Canciamilla was fined $150,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission in a civil stipulation for his inaccurate campaign finance statements, which concealed the personal use of campaign funds for his own benefit.


The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Steven Bolen. DDA Bolen is assigned to our Office’s Public Corruption Unit. 


Case information: People v. Joseph Canciamilla, Docket Number 01-193934-7



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