< Full site
Morgan, 3 others indicted in '08 ballot petition scheme
4/2/2012 3:40:00 PM
By RYAN NEES
INDIANAPOLIS - St. Joseph County prosecutors filed far-reaching charges this afternoon against conspirators in the 2008 presidential ballot petition forgery case. The charges sweep across the heights of the St. Joseph County Democratic machine, likely toppling an organization that has dominated northern Indiana politics for more than two decades.
Butch Morgan (right), who resigned under a cloud of suspicion last year from his chairmanships of both the St. Joseph County party and the 2nd CD, is the highest-ranking official charged, the St. Joseph County clerk's office confirmed this afternoon.
Three political deputies he appointed to lead the St. Joseph County Voter Registration office were also charged: Pam Brunette (center), Bev Shelton, and Dustin Blythe (left). At 2:20 p.m., the St. Joseph County Superior Court Clerk confirmed to HPI that they had received charges against the four. Prosecutor Michael Dvorak's office was unavailable to immediately elaborate further.
A joint Howey Politics Indiana and South Bend Tribune investigation last year discovered hundreds of apparently forged signatures on the petitions Indiana requires Presidential candidates to submit for primary ballot placement. Pages of signatures were seemingly copied wholesale, one after another, from the petitions of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger and then submitted on behalf of candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Dozens of people interviewed by HPI and the Tribune, including former Governor Joe Kernan, said that their signatures had been forged. The story prompted a prosecutorial probe, led by the Indiana State Police, which has drawn on since last year.
In the filings made public today, known as probable cause affidavits, prosecutors are required to document their account of how they believe the alleged fraud occurred. Warrants for the arrest of Morgan, Brunette, Shelton, and Blythe are expected to be executed soon.
Gov. Pence appoints 4 to State Board of Education
Statehouse: A bizarre last chapter as Dems defend Pence veto; GOP overrides
Former Gov. Doc Bowen dies
Jury finds Butch Morgan guilty
Pence accepts half a loaf with 5% income tax cut
Inside the Pence metric puzzle
From Oz to Indiana, a Road Map battle
Howey Politics Indiana Home
< Full site
, All Rights Reserved