HARRISBURG – Attorney General Michelle Henry announced charges against an Allegheny County man for his role in forging signatures on nomination petitions to get his client on the ballot for the 2022 Democratic primary race in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, which includes the City of Pittsburgh and much of Allegheny County, and portions of Westmoreland County.
Kirk Rice, 64, was hired by a congressional candidate to help acquire the necessary signatures to get the candidate on the ballot. Of the 437 signatures that Rice obtained, many appeared to be forged or falsified. Ultimately, the candidate for whom Rice worked was not successful in their bid for office.
Rice was charged with 33 counts of identity theft, 33 counts of forgery, one count of theft by deception, two counts of unsworn falsification, two counts of perjury, two counts of nomination petition, and two counts of false signatures.
“At the foundation of our democracy are free and fair elections, and this defendant is charged with undermining that essential process,” Attorney General Henry said. “Instead of working to obtain legal signatures, the defendant allegedly took the easy way out and falsified much of the information that secured a ballot spot for the candidate he represented. This case is a reminder that interfering with Pennsylvania’s election process is a very serious matter and will always be treated that way by this office.”
An investigation by the Office of Attorney General found that Rice allegedly forged names, addresses, and signatures of dozens of individuals on the nomination petitions. Many of the people who had signatures appear on the petitions told investigators they did not sign, and several lived out of state. In some instances, names were duplicated or rearranged on separate pages.
This matter is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Alexander Cashman. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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