ENCINITAS — A Superior Court judge has revoked the probation of a woman who falsely accused former State Assembly candidate Phil Graham of sexual misconduct just two months after she was sentenced.
Nichole Burgan was sentenced in February to two days in county jail and three years probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report with the Sheriff’s Department in connection to her allegations against Graham.
Her sentence included a 90-day jail term that was stayed pending completion of her probation, $655 fine, 10 days public works service and a mental health evaluation.
But on Monday morning, Judge Adrienne Orfield ruled that Burgan has already violated the terms of her probation and scheduled an evidentiary hearing Friday to determine if Burgan will go to jail for the full 90 days.
It isn’t clear what terms Burgan violated, but the evidentiary hearing will likely reveal this, as well as give her attorney an opportunity to present evidence to explain the lapses.
Prosecutors are asking that Orfield lift the stay and that Burgan be required to serve the 90 days.
“At the hearing, the judge will determine whether to reinstate probation on the same terms, change those terms and/or impose the full sentence,” Deputy District Attorney Katherine Grabar said Monday.
Burgan was not taken into custody following Monday’s hearing.
Originally, Judge Sim Von Kalinowski ordered Burgan to serve her jail time on February 23 and March 9, but Burgan, according to Grabar, rescheduled the February date for March 29. It is not clear if Burgan has served either of her two custody dates.
Burgan told the media that Graham, the Republican front runner in the 2018 race, forcibly kissed her during the early morning hours of May 14, 2018, after a night of drinking at the 1st Street Bar in Encinitas.
She later filed a police report, which prompted a San Diego Sheriff’s Department investigation of her claims.
But variations in her story to different media outlets and a series of restraining orders filed against Burgan in the past that accused her of filing false reports raised doubts about the veracity of her claims.
The Sheriff’s Department investigated and disproved the claims after reviewing video surveillance inside and outside of the bar and interviewing several witnesses.
Graham vociferously denied the allegations, but Democratic activists quickly launched attack ads against Graham based on the allegations.
An unknown party issued an illegal robocall alluding to the allegations but concealed the identity of the source of the robocall, which violates campaign finance laws.
The Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating the robocalls.
Von Kalinowski’s original sentence was lighter than what prosecutors requested — 90 days in county jail — because Burgan did not have a criminal record.
Friday’s evidentiary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday in Orfield’s courtroom, Dept. 1, in the North County courthouse in Vista.