Rochester, N.Y.-- In a decision authored by state Supreme Court Justice Ann Marie Taddeo on August 8, the legal challenge to the election petitions filed by Democrat Harry Davis was successful.
Monroe County Democratic Leader of the 23rd Legislative District Allan Richards filed a lawsuit against Davis, who was running for a City Council East District seat, saying his petitions were riddled with "fraudulent" inaccuracies.
Taddeo said testimony provided in court was convincing enough to throw into question the legitimacy of all of the petition signatures Davis collected.
“The Court finds that the questionable and irregular signature-collecting process permeated the petition with fraud and should be invalidated,” she wrote.
The court also found that numerous violations of Election Law 6-132 were substantiated, more notable, the purported signature of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Who knew that Eli was living incognito in the Southwedge?
Therefore, Davis will not appear on the ballot this fall, where fellow Democrat and incumbent Elaine Spaull will face Republican Rich Tyson in the general election on November 8. As a matter of fact, Davis' legal problems are far from over.
This is not the end of the story-- filing false petitions to the Board of Elections is a serious crime. The Rochester Police Department and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office are looking into criminal charges against Davis.
In a case in Nassau County earlier this year, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice prosecuted an employee at the Nassau County Board of Elections for writing false residential addresses on petitions for a political candidate in an attempt to secure the necessary number of signatures to get the candidate’s name on the ballot for the 2009 election.
Imtiaz Insanally, 27, of Valley Stream, was arrested by DA investigators and charged with one felony count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the first degree and one misdemeanor count of misconduct in relation to petitions. Insanally faced up to four years in prison if convicted.
CSEA will not be making any recommendations or endorsements for any citywide City of Rochester publicly elected offices for the 2011 election year.