Monday, July 23, 2018

Peggy A. West, Former Milwaukee County Supervisor Officially Charged With One Felony Count For Election Fraud

West officially charged with felony election fraud by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.

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

July 23, 2018

Milwaukee, WI - On Monday, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office officially filed a one felony count charge for election fraud of certified nomination papers against former Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Ann West, 47, stemming from forged nomination signatures. West made her initial court appearance on Monday and a signature bond was set at $5,000. Her arraignment was scheduled for August 8th. If convicted, West is facing up to 3 years and six months in prison with fines up to $10,000.
According to West's criminal complaint, five people denied signing West's nomination papers and the property manager, Delia Santos confirmed to police investigators that a former resident, Sonia Rivera had moved to Florida 4 years ago, but her name appeared in West's nomination papers (page 16). Another 16 people in the Milwaukee County Supervisor's 12th District also confirmed that they did sign West's nomination papers, but West didn't personally circulate the nomination papers as she certified that she did. Also, West's daughter, Emiliana Lorenzo told police that her mother forged her name as a certified circulator in several nomination papers (pages 18-19) as well, according to the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint states that on West's nomination page 16, the apartments listed for electors from 1 to 5 didn't exist at the building address and none of the electors listed from 6 to 10 lived at the address provided. In other words, West who signed and certified the nomination paper as the circulator allegedly fabricated the list of electors.
On West's nomination page 4, Jay Reinke told police that he partially circulated the sheet and got electors to sign from 1 to 6 and left 7 to 10 blank when he signed and certified the nomination paper as the circulator, but someone later managed to add electors from 7 to 10 without him knowing until police asked him about that page.
Sylvia Ortiz-Velez defeated West on April 3rd who was elected as the new 12th District Milwaukee County Supervisor. Ortiz-Velez in April received 815 votes 58% and the incumbent Supervisor West received 602 votes 42%, according to the Milwaukee County Election Commission.
In February, Ortiz-Velez filed an ethics complaint alleging that Supervisor West had apparently forged some nomination signatures and she was able to get affidavits from those who confirmed that they never signed the nomination papers for West. West when she submitted her nomination papers confirmed that she personally circulated the nominations papers where the discrepancies were alleged.
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 in February 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..."
Former deputy District Attorney Patrick Kenney (retired) was assigned to the West election fraud case as a special Milwaukee County prosecutor and the Milwaukee Police Department Internal Affairs unit investigated the Milwaukee County Ethics Board complaint filed by Ortiz-Velez.

West's criminal complaint:

No comments: