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King County files charges alleging initiative signature fraud in I-1098 (income tax)

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Sep. 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
September 15, 2010 2:54 pm

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has filed charges against a signature gatherer for Initiative 1098, the high-earners income tax.

The charges were supported by a State Patrol investigation into suspicious signature patterns discovered by state elections workers checking signatures on petitions submitted by 1098 sponsors. Workers discovered 349 names on 20 different petition sheets that were suspicious. A number appeared to be in the same handwriting or were for people who weren’t registered voters, the secretary of state’s office said.

The suspect signatures were set aside and not included in the count of signatures that placed the measure on the November ballot.

The crime of signature violation by signer is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Arraignment is set for next Wednesday.

Here’s a pdf of the Information filed against Claudia Renea McKinney by King County. It also includes the probably cause statement by prosecutors which includes the State Patrol report which identifies McKinney as an employee of the Service Employees International Union. The union provided signature gatherers who were reimbursed for loss time when away from their union jobs. They were not paid by the signature but did have quotas to meet.

And here is an earlier Secretary of State blog post on the investigation.

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