Thursday, May 8, 2003

Four indicted in petition falsification

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Four women accused of falsifying names on ballot petitions filed with the Hamilton County Board of Elections on behalf of Jim Condit Jr. last year have been indicted.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Vanessa White, 48, of Over-the-Rhine; Dorethea White, 28, of Millvale; Rosemary Johnson, 41, of Northside; and Antoinette Feagin, 40, of Blue Ash on charges of election falsification. The women were paid up to $1 for each signature they collected.

Condit, who had hoped to run as an independent in the 2nd Congressional District, was forced to drop out of the race because the phony signatures left him short the number needed to appear on the ballot. He is not accused of wrongdoing.

Signatures included those of a man who had been dead nearly 10 years and a convicted double murderer in jail for a year. The dead man's name and address were still in the phone book.

Many names appeared to have been written by the same hand, and some were consistently misspelled - Brian spelled as "Brain" and Michael spelled as "Micheal."

If convicted, each faces up to a year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

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