Mott Haven Herald report Joe Hirsch reports:
City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo admitted under oath that people employed by her campaign had committed fraud.
But she’s not at fault, she insisted; three employees she paid to gather signatures are.
Answering charges brought by Julio Pabon, her challenger for the council seat that represents Hunts Point and Melrose, Arroyo told a referee appointed by the election board that she has turned the names of Betty Julien, Elbin Lopez and Luis Vargas over to the Bronx District Attorney’s office. She told the hearing she suspects they forged many of the signatures they claim to have gathered while circulating petitions in Hunts Point for her candidacy.
The DA is investigating whether the trio committed those forgeries as part of a ploy Arroyo called “kitchen petitions,” referring to workers who forge signatures by using names from existing voter registration rolls. The eight-year incumbent said she had noticed many signatures looked suspiciously similar to one another when she pored over them shortly after the deadline to submit petitions in mid-July.
“Something struck me very strongly,” she told the referee. [One Pabón supporter quipped that Arroyo was “struck by the BRICK” of a ferocious petition challenge.]
NY Post also reported: 08/11/2013
“Earlier this month, Bronx Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo admitted her petitions were forged and blamed her campaign staff for writing in the John Hancocks of Derek Jeter and Kate Moss.”