Saturday, August 18, 2007

PA voter fraud happens due to inaccurate database

Political consultant charged in petition forgery
Thursday, August 09, 2007

By Gabrielle Banks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mark Zabierek, a political consultant and lobbyist, faces criminal charges related to the forgery of ballot petition signatures during the ill-fated 2006 re-election campaign of former state Rep. Michael Diven.

Court papers indicate that Mr. Zabierek acknowledged forging the signatures. A criminal complaint filed by Allegheny County police investigators said Mr. Zabierek waived his Miranda rights and admitted to eight counts of forging signatures and eight counts of forging signatures and statements in a nomination petition. His attorney, Leslie Perlow, said it's likely at a Sept. 24 preliminary hearing that he will opt to have the charges waived to court.

"He made a mistake and he's taking responsibility for it. It isn't the crime of the century," said his lawyer, who described Mr. Zabierek as "an incredibly bright, nice person" with no prior criminal record.

Ms. Perlow said yesterday that Mr. Zabierek was formally notified about the misdemeanor charges last week.

Mr. Diven, a former Democrat, switched to the Republican Party to run in a state Senate special election won by Democrat Wayne Fontana. In seeking the GOP nomination for the South Hills House seat he had originally been elected to as a Democrat, he submitted nominating petitions with the forgeries, including the names of several dead people.

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