Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blue State Graft Watch Update- Mistrial Declared in Troy, NY Ballot Fraud Case

The judge presiding over a ballot fraud case in which Troy, NY city councilman Michael LoPorto and Rensselaer County Election Commissioner Edward McDonough has declared a mistrial after the jury was deadlocked.

According to one juror, who asked that her name not be published, the jury was ready to convene on Tuesday morning last week and up until then had seemed willing to find LoPorto and McDonough guilty of 8 felony counts. However, there was a holdout on the jury and the deliberations reportedly turned into a shouting match, before a note adressed to Acting state Supreme Court Justice George Pulverwas written asked that he meet privately with four of the jurors. The note was reportedly the basis for Pulverwas declaring the mistrial.
The juror said that jurors' relationships were friendly and cordial up until deliberations began in earnest.

"There were some pretty bad shouting matches," the juror said. "Things got really ugly and personal attacks started. It was terrible. There were a couple of us who would go out for smoke breaks together and after a while I was not welcome anymore."

A big problem for jurors was the 103 charges they had to go through and unanimously agree on.

"It was just too many charges and no one could keep track of them," the juror said. "If they do have another trial they may want to think about that."
Acting Supreme Court Judge George C Pulver ordered a new trial and Special Prosecutor Trey Smith filed a motion to have seperate trials for LoPorto and McDonough on Tuesday.

LoPorto and McDonough are accused of forging signatures and excuses on absentee ballots during the 2009 Working Families primary without the knowledge of the individual voters whose names appeared on the ballot.

Stemming from the same absentee ballot fraud investigation, Troy city councilman John Brown and former City Clerk William McInerney pleaded guilty to felony charges of forgery, falsifying business records and criminal posession of a forged insturment in December 2011.

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