Click HERE to read the handwriting analyst's report.
LAWRENCE — The city’s longest-serving election official signed the names of at least four people on nominating petitions circulated by the campaign of Frank Moran, the City Council president running for the Statehouse, a forensic handwriting expert hired by The Eagle-Tribune concluded.
The official, Rafael Tejeda, also used his position to certify the signatures were valid, said Ronald Rice, a Plymouth resident who has analyzed penmanship used as evidence in some of the nation’s most infamous civil and criminal cases over the last 35 years.
“Mr. Tejeda is the author of the other four hand-printed signatures,” Rice said about the signatures on Moran’s petitions bearing the names of four people who share Rafael Tejeda’s Greenwood Street house or live on the same North Lawrence block.
“The style, slant and flow of the five hand-printed signatures and addresses are the same,” Rice said, adding that the four signatures match the penmanship of Tejeda’s own signature on Moran’s petitions and on his voting card on file at the city’s Election Division.
Only one of the four people whose names Tejeda allegedly signed could be reached last week. The woman, who is ineligible to vote because she is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, said she did not sign Moran’s petition.
Tejeda denied signing the names. He said he signed his own name to Moran’s nominating petition when a woman approached him in his driveway sometime in March, and said he then directed her to other voters in the house.
“I said, ‘Go inside and get other signatures, but I left,’” Tejeda said. “I’m 100 percent sure I didn’t sign any other signatures. I don’t know who did it, but I didn’t sign it.”