EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Election Connection

November 5, 2012

Fake signatures spark call for takeover

(Continued)

Of the four whose names Tejeda allegedly signed, only Alejandrina Reyes of 77 Greenwood St., could be reached. Reyes, who is a citizen of the Dominican Republic and would be ineligible to vote in the United States, said she did not sign Moran’s petition.

Ronald Martin, the chairman of Lawrence’s Board of Registrars, which has the final say on the validity of petition signatures before candidates can go on ballots, said City Clerk William Maloney will investigate whether Tejeda faked the four signatures. He would not elaborate.

“I’m going to see what the city clerk comes up with and then we’ll proceed from there,” Martin said yesterday. He noted that the deadline for challenging signatures on nominating petitions was June 1.

Maloney could not be reached yesterday.

Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, referred questions about the questionable signatures to Galvin, the secretary of state. She said Galvin is better equipped to investigate election irregularities, and can refer cases to local district attorneys or the state Attorney General’s office for prosecution if they are found to be grounded.

Brad Puffer, a spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley, also said he could not comment until his agency had a chance to review the allegations.

Moran said in yesterday’s story that he did not carry the nominating petition on which the signatures were allegedly faked, and said he did not know which of his more than 20 volunteers did. He defended Tejeda’s character and said he did not believe he would fake signatures on election documents.

Moran, a Democrat, is being challenged by Kevin Cuff, an independent, who brought the irregularities to the attention of The Eagle-Tribune last week. Cuff said he believed there was “a pattern to the signatures” when he first saw Moran’s petitions in March, but said he did not have the resources to challenge them.

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