Notaries connected to alleged election fraud step down

Two notaries connected to allegations of fraud in last year's elections for Republican committemen have permanently surrendered their notary licenses after an investigation by the state of Pennsylvania.

Carmella Fitzpatrick, who works for Republican City Committee, and Jeanine DiGiannantonio, who works for the Philadelphia Parking Authority, a haven for GOP patronage jobs, both turned in their notary licenses after an investigation by the state into questionable signatures on petitions in races for Republican Committeeman in May 2010.

Fitzpatrick and DiGiannantonio notarized the petitions during an intense battle for control over the Republican City Committee, run by Michael Meehan, the third generation of his family to have that role. Committemen elect ward leaders, who, in turn elect the party's top leader.

The district attorney also is investigation forged signatures in petitions in that race. Another notary involved in the investigation, Jennifer Jandrisitz, who works for Republican City Councilman Jack Kelly, was not part of the state action. She told the Inquirer last year that some of the candidates whose petitions she notarized had not appeared before her, as required by law. One of those candidates, Joan Chapman, could not be located by The Inquirer and appeared to be a fiction.

Last year, DiGiannantonio, told The Inquirer that she did not keep a log book detailing information about documents she notarized. One of those was a petition for Edward McPherson to run as GOP committeeman, but he told The Inquirer that he did not even know he was running for office and that he had never appeared before DiGiannantonio.

Fitzpatrick had notified a petition to run for committeman from Leon Cohen, who was 95 and said he never wanted to run. At the time, Fitzpatrick, office manager for the City Committee, notarized Cohen's petition and said she had verified his identification.


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