Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Affidavits Filed With Milwaukee County Ethics Board Claiming Supervisor Peggy West Didn't Personally Circulated Some Nominations Papers To Get On Election Ballot

Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office conflict of interest raised, since District Attorney John Chisholm endorsed Supervisor West who is facing allegations by multiple nomination paper signers that indicated in signed affidavits that she didn't circulate some nomination papers as she claimed.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

February 28, 2018

Milwaukee, WI - On Wednesday, Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, candidate for the Milwaukee County Supervisor 12th District filed multiple affidavits with the Milwaukee County Ethics Board in a complaint alleging that Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West who is running for re-election in the Milwaukee County Supervisor 12th District actually didn't circulate multiple nomination papers to get on the April 3rd Spring Election Ballot. The Milwaukee County Ethics Board will send a copy of the filed complaint to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission in Madison and the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office for review to investigate whether Supervisor West fraudulently filed some nomination papers in question that she certified as circulating the papers and collected each signature, which multiple signers in affidavits have claimed she did not.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office (MCDAO) has at least 10 days to notify Ortiz-Velez, if the MCDAO will review the complaint or have another County district attorney's office review the complaint. The Wisconsin Department of Justice would be the last option to investigate the complaint filed by Ortiz-Velez, if the MCDAO and other county district attorney offices won't review the complaint due to any conflict of interest.
According to the filed complaint, in January, Ortiz-Velez, who is challenging West in the Spring Election noticed discrepancies in West's certified nomination papers and sent an email to Stephanie L. Hunnicutt, Personnel Review Board and Ethics Board Administrator and the Milwaukee County Election Commission detailing the discrepancies and requesting an investigation. Ortiz-Velez at the time couldn't verify the alleged discrepencies, but later was able to get multiple signed and notarized affidavits from West's nomination paper signers indicating Supervisor West didn't circulate the papers, but other unidentified persons did and didn't sign the nomination papers as the person circulating them as required by state law. 
The discrepancies happened at several locations in the 12th Milwaukee County Supervisor District including at the 1800 block of W. Becher Street and at the 500 block of S. Layton Blvd., according to the Ortiz-Velez complaint.
One of the signers in an affidavit confirmed that the person that circulated West's nomination paper was an "African woman who was thin and young accompanied by a male." Other signers  (OS) confirmed the person circulating West's nomination papers "was thin and Caucasian" and OS described the person circulating papers having  black hair and also spoked fleunt Spanish, but Supervisor West signed and certified that she collected each signature in the nomination papers in question.
Supervisor West posted the following statement on her Friends of Milw. County Supervisor Peggy West, District 12, "For the record specifically at the address 1800 W. Becher, I did pass nomination papers at that location in addition, at that location, I had NO one African American passing papers, I also had no one Caucasian passing papers. I can and did speak to several residents there in Spanish...1800 W. Becher St is a Senior and disabled apartment complex as were at least 3 other addresses I used to collect signatures. It is very possible that residents don't clearly remember who came to their door to get their signature..."
If in fact, Supervisor West didn't actually circulate the nomination papers that are in question, she wouldn't have had enough signatures to get on the ballot.
According to Wisconsin Statue 12.13 (13) (a), falsifying nomination papers by certification is considered a felony punishable up to 3 years and six months in prison with fines up to $10,000.

Update (3/6/2018): The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office (MCDAO) decided not to review filed complaint against Supervisor Peggy West alleging that she didn't circulated some nomination papers as she claimed due to conflict of interest. MCDA John Chisholm has endorsed West for re-election.
The MCDAO will have ten days to get another county district attorney to review a complaint filed by Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, a candidate challenging West on the April 3rd election ballot.

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