Updated 04/16/2012 08:07 PM
New accusations in Troy ballot fraud case
A bombshell accusation in the ongoing Troy ballot fraud case. Monday, two of the defendants accused of forging absentee ballots now leveling a similar claim against the special prosecutor, alleging he presented forged affidavits during the trial, making this already complicated case even cloudier. Solomon Syed has more.
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TROY, N.Y. -- "Some of the voters who had come forward and claimed that some of the documents presented to them, they had never seen before," said Rensselaer County Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough.
McDonough and former Troy city councilman Michael LoPorto, turning the tables on special prosecutor Trey Smith, alleging that Smith presented forged signatures contained in the supporting affidavits of at least two witnesses.
"I suggest he pay the Rensselaer County taxpayer money back that he got because he's been doing it on forged documents," LoPorto said.
The case ended in a mistrial last month, during which McDonough and LoPorto and their legal team say they noticed something fishy about the affidavits, especially when witnesses couldn't identify their own signatures while on the stand, but that their objections were dismissed.
"One woman, Jolene Van Vranken, claimed she had never been to the courthouse,” McDonough said. “She looked at the document under cross examination and claimed 'absolutely not, this is not my signature and I’ve never seen this before'."
Smith tells YNN this is nothing but an attempt to smear his name and divert attention from the case and said, "As a private practitioner, I of course take exception to any one’s attempt to falsely cast aspersions on my conduct or character. As a prosecutor, however, I must remain focused on my job, which is to see that justice is done."
Meanwhile, McDonough and LoPorto entered a formal complaint with Troy city police after already doing some investigating of their own.
"We hired a handwriting expert. The handwriting expert came back and confirmed that that signature was not, 100 percent not Ms. Van Vranken's. The question we have is who forged that document?" McDonough said.
McDonough and LoPorto are being re-tried seperately. Jury selection in LoPorto's trial begins June 4th.