Mental status of San Francisco's ballot thief to be determined 

Doctors are set to cast their votes today on whether a former San Francisco poll worker who stole dozens of ballots on Election Day is crazy.

On the eve of his possible release from jail last month, 51-year-old Karl Bradfield Nicholas was thrown back into a cell after giving the judge the silent treatment.

Nicholas continues silent treatment. For the latest on this story, go here.

The Gandhi-esque snub was the latest in a string of bizarre behavior that caused Superior Court Judge Anne Bouliane to order a psychiatric evaluation.

Nicholas pleaded guilty in December to a felony charge of taking about 75 ballots and a poll list from a District 11 polling place Nov. 2. He was arrested the next day and the ballots were found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Nicholas’ attorney called the theft an Election Day political protest.

But his strange protests in the courtroom quickly took center stage. In April, he tried to withdraw his guilty plea in a motion that was denied by Judge James Collins.

At a July 5 hearing, he was tackled by sheriff’s deputies after yelling at his attorney, Stuart Blumstein, and another judge. At the time, his attorney was trying to get Nicholas released from jail on his own recognizance.

Then on July 11, he took the opposite approach and gave the judge the silent treatment. The judge was about to sentence Nicholas to a year in jail. But he would have likely been let out of jail on that day because of credit for time already served.

Results of the mental health evaluation are due today.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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