Conviction made in Morgantown election fraud case

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FILE – In this May 28, 2020, file photo a voter casts her mail-in ballot at in a drop box in West Chester, Pa., prior to the primary election. Just over four months before Election Day, President Donald Trump is escalating his efforts to delegitimize the upcoming presidential election. Last week he made a startling, and unfounded, claim that 2020 will be “the most corrupt election in the history of our country.” (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia Secretary of State announced the conviction of a former Morgantown resident for admitting to falsifying signatures in 2019.

Timothy Aaron Metz was the subject of the investigation for falsifying signatures in an effort to become a candidate for the Morgantown City Council.

Morgantown election officials alerted the Secretary of State’s Office which found 21 signatures on Metz’s nominating petitions were fraudulent, including a signature of a deceased person.

Metz withdrew from the Morgantown City election in March admitting he “cut corners” in collecting the required amount of signatures to get his name on the ballot. Metz was then indicted in September for election fraud by the Monongalia County grand jury.

Today Judge Philip Gaujot, Metz pled guilty before Monongalia County Circuit Court to one felony count of falsely filing a certification of nomination.  

“Election fraud at any level of government will never be tolerated in West Virginia. Our office will continue to work closely with local election officials and county prosecutors to make sure election improprieties are properly investigated and those people found guilty are held accountable,” said Secretary of State Mac Warner.

Metz is now under probation for 24 months as the Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney Perri DeChristopher and the court agreed to a pre-trial diversion.

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