Monday, April 15, 2013

McCotter sues ex-campaign aides

Story originally appeared on the Detroit News.

Detroit — Former U.S. Rep Thaddeus McCotter filed a lawsuit Friday against two of his former campaign staffers alleging the pair purposely submitted phony signatures which kept him off the primary ballot for re-election.

McCotter is suing former campaign aide Don Yowchuang, McCotter's deputy district director, and Dillon Breen, campaign internfor turning in fake nomination petition signatures. McCotter left Congress in July in the wake of the scandal.

In the lawsuit, McCotter said Yowchuang, 33, of Farmington Hills and Breen, 20, of Livonia "willfully and purposefully did not obtain the requisite number of signatures, and both defendants were aware that they did not have the legal amount of signatures" when the Nominating Petitions for the August Primary were filed with the Michigan Secretary of State's office on May 15, 2012.

Efforts to reach Yowchuang and Breen on Friday were unsuccessful.

Last August, Attorney General Bill Schuette said his public integrity unit found alleged fraud in connection with the petitions for the Livonia Republican. He said some of the signatures had been copied and altered.

On Jan. 18, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Margie Braxton dismissed the charge of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner, a five-year-felony, against Yowchuang and another McCotter aid, Paul Seewald, 47, of Livonia.

Schuette has appealed the dismissal.

Yowchuang pleaded no contest in November in Wayne County Circuit Court to 10 counts of forgery, a five-year felony, and six counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to three years' probation and 200 hours of community service.

Two other McCotter staffers were charged.

Lorianne O'Brady, 52, of Livonia, a scheduler for McCotter pleaded no contest to five counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator last September. Mary Melissa Turnbull, 58, of Howell faces a hearing Tuesday.

Bernie Porn, head of the Lansing polling firm EPIC/MRA, said it's nearly certain McCotter, who served five terms in Congress, would have been re-elected if not for the scandal. His redrawn 11th District leaned more Republican than before, Porn said.

No comments:

Post a Comment