EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 4, 2012

Expert: Some nomination signatures were faked


The other people whose signatures Tejeda allegedly signed on Moran’s petitions include Norma Fuerte, who is the sister-in-law of Tejeda’s wife and lives in the same building as the Tejeda family. Fuerte has been in the Dominican Republic since Oct. 17, said Adalgisa Tejeda, who is Rafael Tejeda’s wife. Fuerte could not be reached.

Election Division records indicate that Fuerte voted by absentee ballot in October. City Clerk Maloney declined to release the signed envelope containing Fuerte’s ballot until Mayor William Lantigua approved the request for the document.

Lantigua did not respond to a message left at his City Hall office on Friday.

A third signature Tejeda allegedly signed is Narciso Mejia’s, whose signature appears beside an address that Rice said Tejeda also wrote on the petition. The address provided is 79 Greenwood St., a building that does not exist. Mejia lives at 83 Greenwood St., city records show. She could not be reached.

The fourth signature allegedly signed by Tejada is Ignacio Santos of 91 Greenwood St. He could not be reached.

“The individual letter stroke characteristics, printing habits and idiosyncrasies of Mr. Tejeda are the same” in the four signatures Tejada allegedly signed, Rice, the forensic handwriting expert, said in his report to The Eagle-Tribune. “These (are) specifically noted as, but not limited to, the following: The hand-printed capital A’s, D’s, E’s, J’s, N’s, R’s (and) the hand-printed lower-case i’s, r’s. These factors . . . reflect the unconscious printing habits of Rafael Tejeda.”

Besides verifying signatures on nominating petitions, Tejeda’s duties as the Election Division’s bilingual coordinator include translating voting documents into Spanish and ensuring that each of the city’s 24 polling places are staffed by people who speak Spanish. He earns $30,336 annually.

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