HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- There is more pressure on Bridgeport State Rep. Chistina Ayala. Ayala could be facing felony charges for voter fraud, along with her mother; the Bridgeport Democratic Registrar of Voters.
The pressure on the first term Democratic State Rep is mounting tonight as the State Democratic Party Chairwoman is saying she should step down.
In a statement party chair Nancy DiNardo says, "given the allegations surrounding Representative Ayala, and given the amount of time and energy she's going to have to expend in defending herself, the wise course of action here would be for her to step down."
The Chief State's Attorney's office tells News 8; it is now reviewing her case and the case of her mother; Bridgeport Democratic Registrar of Voters, Sandi Ayala, after the State Elections Enforcement Commission said the state representative used a false address to vote in nine primaries and general elections.
Ayala may have also defrauded Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey.
He had required her to show him a lease for an apartment in her district before he allowed to be sworn in last January.
"I am genuinely concerned about the escalation of this matter into now, what's a criminal investigation because, first and foremost, we have to protect the public's trust in the institution of the legislature," said Sharkey.
The commission claims her mother, the registrar, was aware of the fraud.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch saying, "these are a very serious, alarming and troublesome series of allegations regarding election laws involving Christina Ayala and Santa Ayala. These allegations seem to reflect a very disturbing pattern of behavior. The investigation will have to run its course, and I will reserve further comment until the findings are in."
In his first interview about the controversy the House Speaker says that right now his hands are tied.
"As Speaker, there isn't really much more I can do other than to take away those assignments and responsibilities that I, as Speaker, can give to a member," said Sharkey.
But there is a process in the state legislature for expulsion, it has never been used before. It takes a two-thirds vote.
During scandals in the past, like the one involving former Bridgeport State Senator Ernie Newton, pressure from legislative leaders usually results in resignation.
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