Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed criminal charges in the case of a five-term Southeast Michigan Congressman who resigned from office after fake signatures were found on his re-election petitions.
Former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter is not, himself, implicated. Schuette painted a picture of an arrogant and unsupervised Congressional staff that falsified petition signatures, and committed other “blatant” acts of election fraud.
Schuette charged four of McCotter’s former staffers with conspiring to commit election fraud. The charges range from felon conspiracy, to misdemeanor counts of falsely certifying petitions.
Schuette alledges the four used a variety of tricks to inflate the number of petition signatures they had collected in order to get McCotter on the ballot.
“They copied petitions, submitted petitions falsely signed by circulators, and did cut and paste jobs that would make an elementary art teacher cringe,” Schuette says.
Schuette says it’s clear McCotter was “asleep at the switch” while his staffers “acted above the law.” But there’s no evidence McCotter was aware of their schemes. Schuette says, if such evidence emerges, he won’t hesitate to “pull the trigger and file new charges.”
Schuette says there is evidence McCotter’s staffers pulled similar stunts in past election years.