Fayette County Election Board Ignores Complaint, Subverts Election Law

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2018 by Pezzonovante in
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The Fayette County Election Board, led by Fayette County Commissioners Dave Lohr, Vincent A. Vicites, and Angela M. Zimmerlink, has an election board meeting set for today to consider a polling location change in Menallen Township.

Absent from the public notice of the meeting and from the agenda, is any consideration by the board of an official complaint filed on September 10.

In the board's first meeting since this writer filed an official complaint with the Fayette County Election Bureau/Board on Monday, September 10, 2018, the board has chosen to ignore the official complaint and to subvert election law, rather than to carry out its mandatory duty under law to investigate the complaint.

Under 25 P.S. § 2642(i), the law is unequivocal:  


25 P.S. § 2642:The county boards of elections, within their respective counties, shall exercise, in the manner provided by this act, all powers granted to them by this act, and shall perform all the duties imposed upon them by this act, which shall include the following:

(i) To investigate election frauds, irregularities and violations of this act, and to report all suspicious circumstances to the district attorney.


The election board remains in dereliction of its duty under law to investigate the complaint and will remain so until it performs its duty as prescribed by law.

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The Fayette County Election Board has run a public notice for a meeting which will take place on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.  The election board will meet to consider a polling place location change for Menallen Township, District 3.

See link:

Set election and Fayette County as your search parameters.

The public notice does not include as an agenda item the official complaint filed by this writer with the Fayette County Election Bureau/Board on September 10, 2018.

More than a month remove from the filing of the complaint, the election board remains in dereliction of its duty under law to investigate the complaint.

In stark contrast to the complaints filed by GOP state Chairman Val DiGiorgio on August 8, 2018, and by Fayette County Democrat Chairman George Rattay on August 16, 2018, where a meeting was scheduled and held on August 20, 2018 to hear the complaints within a time frame of 12 and 4 days, respectively, for more than one month, the Fayette County Election Board has failed to provide an update on the status of the official complaint and has refused to place the official complaint on any election board agenda.

Members of the Fayette County Election Board are mandated by law to investigate allegations of election law violations, not cover them up.  Those who cannot perform their duty under law should recuse themselves, not subvert the law.


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Today, 10/12/2018, marks the 46-month anniversary of the Order by Presiding Judge Steve P. Leskinen to accept and to seal the Fifth Presentment issued by Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2.


Since 12/12/2014, for 46 months, or for three years and ten months, or for an unheard of 1,400 days, the Fifth Presentment has remained sealed, and curiously, astute readers will note, the Unified Judicial System database lists the grand jury docket as active, not closed, although jurors were dismissed 46 months ago!  

Investigating grand jury presentments are normally not sealed.  A sealed presentment usually means the target’s whereabouts is not known or a subject has yet to be apprehended. Moreover, the investigating grand jury statute contains language that logically contemplates the eventual unsealing of a sealed presentment.

See:
42 Pa.C.S.A. § 4551:   Title 42 § 4551(b)   Sealed presentment.--The supervising judge to whom a presentment is submitted may, on his own motion or at the request of the Commonwealth, direct that the presentment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial. In directing that the presentment be kept secret, the supervising judge shall enter an order requiring that the presentment be sealed and that no person shall disclose a return of the presentment except when necessary for issuance and execution of process.  [Emphasis added.]

The reason why the length of time we are dealing with on the Fifth Presentment is so unusual is because, in law, there exist time limitations by which time criminal charges must be brought, or the person alleged to have committed a crime cannot be charged.

As Fayette Countians paid for the costs of the county investigating grand jury, we have every right to know why the Fifth Presentment has remained sealed for so long a period of time.



There is no doubt that 1,400 days of secrecy is long enough.

The sealed Fifth Presentment was incorporated into the Official Complaint filed by this writer with the Fayette County Election Bureau on September 10, 2018.  It is the mandatory duty of the Fayette County Election Board to investigate the complaint and, thus, the sealed Fifth Presentment.

The Fayette County Election Board must open an investigation into the sealed Fifth Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2.  The fact that all other Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2 presentments were dealt with -- except the yet-sealed Fifth Presentment -- makes the 46-month sealing highly suspect.  What are officials hiding?  Does the sealed Fifth Presentment deal with a subject of one of the election referrals of May 24, 2012?  The investigation must get to the bottom of the matter.  Fayette County has become Ground Zero on whether we have the rule of law, or the rule of men.  It's high time to restore the rule of law and to punish any criminal corruption, if revealed.  The mandatory investigation is long overdue.  Let it begin. 


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Yesterday, October 10, 2018, marked the one-month anniversary of the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission referral to the district attorney of the allegations of violations of the Voter Registration Act made in the election complaint filed by state Republican Committee Chairman Val DiGiorgio -- better known locally as Fairgate.

The Republican complaint alleged violations of the Voter Registration Act under 25 C.S.A. § 1711(a)(3).

25 C.S.A. § 1711(a)(3)
(a) Prohibition.--No person may do any of the following:
(3) Intentionally give or promise or offer to give money or goods to an individual as an inducement for the individual to enroll in a particular party or for a registrant to change political enrollment.

The Republican complaint contained an exhibit with photographic evidence that the Democrat booth at the Fayette County Fair had a sign offering inducements to registrants to either register Democrat or to change party affiliation.  At the top, the inducement sign reads, "REGISTER HERE TO VOTE AND WIN!"  At the bottom, the inducement sign reads, "must register democrat or change your party to democrat."

In the aftermath of the filing of the Republican complaint, other photographs surfaced.  Among those pictured with the inducement signs at the Democrat fair booth are Fayette County Commissioner Vincent Vicites, write-in Democrat Nominee for the 32nd Senatorial District Pamela Gerard, Democrat Nominee for the 52nd Legislative District Ethan Keedy, and Democrat Nominee for the 51st Legislative District Timothy S. Mahoney.

Readers will recall that subpoenas were issued for materials from the Fayette County Democrat Committee.

Readers will also recall that a news report and a local blog post indicated Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower would recuse himself from the matter and forward it on to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

So, now, one month later, what is the status of the Fairgate referral?  Were the subpoenas honored by the Fayette County Democrat Party?  Were all the materials sought by the subpoenas submitted, or not?  What materials were submitted, and which were not, if any were not?  Has the district attorney recused himself, or not?  If not, why not?

At least one of DA Bower's signs hung at the Democrat fair booth where the inducement signs also hung.  He was a listed sponsor of the radio program hosted by Fayette County Democrat Party Chairman George Rattay, who is one of the central figures in the Fairgate incident, who testified at the September 10 hearing of the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission, and who took the Fifth numerous times in answer to questions at the hearing.  

In 2016, DA Bower made a campaign contribution (see top of Page 4 at the link) to the Friends of Tim Mahoney after failing to investigate ex-State Rep. and current 51st Legislative District Democrat Nominee Timothy S. Mahoney on allegations of election fraud and perjury presented to him in June 2016.  Mahoney became another central figure in the Fairgate issue when he testified before the VRC on September 10 and attested that he owned the condominium that pertained to the condo stay on offer on the inducement signs.  

It's high time for the VRC and for the DA to provide the public with a status update on the September 10 referral, especially as it pertains to subpoena compliance and recusal. 

Fayette Countians are owed more accountability -- and less foot-dragging -- from these elected officials. 

Neglected Official Election Complaint Turns 1 Month Old

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels: , ,
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Today, October 10, 2018, marks the one-month anniversary of the filing by this writer of an official election complaint.  The complaint alleges election fraud and perjuries against ex-State Rep. and current 51st Legislative District Democrat Nominee Timothy S. Mahoney, non-investigation of the Third Referral of the Fayette County Election Board passed unanimously on May 24, 2012, and potential crimes regarding the sealed Fifth Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2.  Because Mahoney was defined as a candidate during the commission of these alleged crimes, upon conviction, Mahoney is subject to disqualification from any office of trust or profit in this commonwealth.

See:  25 P.S. § 3551:

Any person who shall, while a candidate for office, be guilty of bribery, fraud or willful violation of any provision of this act, shall be forever disqualified from holding said office or any other office of trust or profit in this Commonwealth.



For one month, there has been no indication that any investigation into the allegations laid out in the complaint has taken place (or has even begun).  Fayette County Commissioners David Lohr, Vincent A. Vicites, and Angela M. Zimmerlink now comprise the election board.

The election board has a mandatory duty to investigate the complaint under 25 P.S. § 2642(i).

25 P.S. § 2642:The county boards of elections, within their respective counties, shall exercise, in the manner provided by this act, all powers granted to them by this act, and shall perform all the duties imposed upon them by this act, which shall include the following:

(i) To investigate election frauds, irregularities and violations of this act, and to report all suspicious circumstances to the district attorney.

To date, the three election board members are in dereliction of that duty.


Lohr, Vicites Reassume Roles on Election Board

Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels:
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In telephone contact yesterday and today with the Fayette County Election Bureau, Fayette Searchlight has confirmed that Fayette County Commissioners David Lohr and Vincent Vicites have reassumed their positions on the Fayette County Election Board.  

The tenure for Attorney Herbert G. Mitchell, Jr. and Attorney Mark Rowan -- who replaced Vicites and Lohr, respectively, when they recused themselves from hearing either of two complaints filed this year by Republican state Committee Chairman Val Digiorgio and Fayette County Democrat Chairman George Rattay -- ended at the adjournment of the September 10 hearing of the Voter Registration Commission. Lohr and Vicites re-join Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink on the election board.

These three are faced with the mandatory duty to investigate the complaint filed by this writer on September 10, 2018.

Since that day 22 calendar days ago, there has been no communication from the election board regarding the complaint.

Yesterday at 12:47 p.m., a letter was sent simultaneously by e-mail to all three election board members seeking an update as to the status of the official election complaint.

Now, more than 27 hours later, in an age of globally accessible e-mail communications, that query has gone unanswered by all three.

Update 10/03/2018:

Today, Fayette County Commissioner/Fayette County Election Board Chair Angela M. Zimmerlink contacted the editor of this blog with an update regarding the official complaint I filed with the Fayette County Election Bureau on September 10, 2018.  I am reviewing the response and intend to provide a response back to Zimmerlink.  Details will be released at the discretion of the editor.  To date, Zimmerlink's response remains the lone response to the query for an update regarding the official complaint.