A new development in the Troy voter fraud case. The special prosecutor admits city councilman Michael LoPorto's handwriting may not be on portions of forged absentee ballots after all. Those ballots are at the center of the criminal investigation and as our Solomon Syed explains, could turn the case on its head.
TROY, N.Y. -- "I never forged anything, I never cheated anyone out of votes, I campaigned."
Troy City Councilman Michael LoPorto (D), declares his innocence, just as he did when he was indicted in January for possessing and forging dozens of absentee ballots in the Working Families Party primary. However, he may now actually have the evidence to prove it.
"It says that the date fields referenced in counts 17 through 29 indictment, may have been forged by William McInerney and not Michael LoPorto," says Michael Feit, LoPorto's attorney, referring to a letter from the special prosecutor in the case.
According to the correspondence, a handwriting expert looked at the forged ballots and determined LoPorto's handwriting did not match dates found on the ballot envelopes. The prosecutor is required to make the defendant aware of potentially exculpatory evidence by law.
"I didn't forge nothing. I didn't steal anybody's votes," said LoPorto.
However, according to the letter, a handwriting match was found for City Clerk William McInerney, one of a several democrats being investigated in the fraud case. McInerney told YNN he had no comment on the allegations.
While it's good news for LoPorto, he's still not in the clear.
Special Prosecutor Trey Smith told LoPorto's attorney, "Within the coming days, I will move the Court for an order compelling handwriting exemplars from Mr. LoPorto... Whether expert comparison will ultimately be necessary to exclude Mr. LoPorto as the writer of questioned documents in this case may turn on other developments, and I will of course keep you advised."
Meanwhile, LoPorto is now forced to collect signatures just to run in the Democratic city council primary, after the party dropped him following the fraud indictment.
"I will be vindicated and I hope everything turns out the way it should have turned out."
Feit tells YNN he will file an omnibus motion by the end of next week to have multiple charges against his client dropped.