February 2, 2011
Delaware County man charged with forging information on Congressional election petitions
HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit have filed charges against a Delaware County man accused of forging names and signatures on Congressional nominating petitions which he had allegedly circulated prior to the primary election in March 2010.
Paul V. Summers, age 59, 509 Eaton Road, Drexel Hill, is charged with seven counts of forgery and seven counts of false signatures and statements in nominating petitions and papers - one count of each offense for each petition he submitted that allegedly contained forged signatures.
The investigation by the Attorney General's Office began in April 2010, based on a referral by Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green, involving allegations that forgeries were included in nominating petitions for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Seventh Congressional District. Those concerns were initially raised by candidate Patrick Meehan, who wrote to the D.A. in March 2010 requesting a review of several petitions.
According to the criminal complaint, Summers served as an official circulator of nominating petitions for the Seventh Congressional District race. After allegedly failing to gather as many signatures as expected during door-to-door solicitations on March 6th and March 7th, 2010, Summers is accused of adding additional signatures to empty spaces on the petition forms and was aware that other volunteers also falsified information on petitions that he submitted.
The forms which allegedly contained the forged information were among twenty nominating petitions that listed Paul Summers as the official circulator and included Summers notarized signature.
Agents from the Attorney General's Office determined that names, addresses and signatures on seven different nominating petitions circulated and submitted by Summers allegedly contained falsified information - including the names of individuals who were incapacitated, did not live at the stated addresses or would have been otherwise unable to sign those petitions. Interviews with 39 individuals listed on those petitions determined that those persons did not sign the petitions and had not given permission for anyone else to sign the forms on their behalf.
The charges of forgery filed against Summers are first-degree misdemeanors, each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fines.
The charges of false signatures and statements in nominating petitions and papers are ungraded misdemeanors, each punishable by up to one year in prison and $500 fines.
Summers was preliminarily arraigned today before Upper Darby Magisterial District Judge Harry J. Karapalides and released on $10,000 bail. Summers waived his preliminary hearing and is scheduled for formal arraignment on March 3rd in Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.
The case will be prosecuted in Delaware County by Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Sprow of the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)
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