Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Upper Darby GOP operative pleads guilty to forgery

Paul V. Summers, the Upper Darby GOP operative who forged signatures on nominating petitions to help now-U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan get on the primary ballot last year, pleaded guilty today.

Upper Darby GOP operative pleads guilty to forgery

Paul V. Summers, the Upper Darby GOP operative charged with forging signatures on nominating petitions to help now-U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan get on the primary ballot last year, pleaded guilty today in Delaware County Court and was sentenced to two years probation and a $1,400 fine, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

“The sentence is toward the high end of the standard range,” says AG spokesman Nils Frederiksen. “Given his guilty plea, admissions and cooperation with the investigation, we feel it is appropriate.”

Summers, 59, pleaded guilty to seven counts each of forgery and false signatures and statements in nominating petitions and took full responsibility for his actions, Frederiksen said.

The onetime electrician, known for his fierce loyalty to Upper Darby GOP leader John F. McNichol, was not charged for additional forgeries he submitted for Republican state House candidate Maureen Carey. I’m still trying to figure out why.

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About a year ago, I confirmed those forgeries by calling residents whose names appeared on Carey’s petition. Their responses included: "It definitely wasn't me,” “We weren't even in the area,” and “This is just ridiculous.” None of them signed the petitions.

If I can find out why state investigators decided not to charge Summers for those forgeries, I will update this post. More coverage of Summers’ court appearance today.

Other questions remain, such as: Why was Summers' named spelled three ways on Meehan's petitions? Why is Summers listed as the circulator of at least one petition that was circulated by a person in his early 20s? Why did McNichol list himself as the circulator of petitions that were actually circulated by a Ridley Park resident?

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William Bender and Stephanie Farr
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