DA: Nassau clerk faked petition addresses

Imtiaz Insanally, 27, was arrested Tuesday and charged

Imtiaz Insanally, 27, was arrested Tuesday and charged with offering a false instrument for filing and petition misconduct, according to Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Photo Credit: NCDA

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A part-time Nassau County Board of Elections official has been charged with voter petition fraud in an attempt to get a county legislative candidate on an election ballot line in 2009.

Imtiaz Insanally, 27, of Valley Stream, a $22.56-per-hour part-time clerk assigned to the board's election machine department, was charged with a felony of offering a false instrument for filing and a misdemeanor of misconduct in relation to petitions. The charges relate to a bid to secure the required number of signatures to place a candidate on a ballot for the 2009 elections, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

In a news release, Rice said the alleged offenses occurred on Aug. 18, 2009, and Aug. 19, 2009, when Insanally "knowingly wrote false residential addresses for eight petition signers" on six pages in an independent nominating petition for Tax Revolt Party candidate Christian Browne. He did so while working as a campaign volunteer for Browne, the Rockville Centre GOP candidate, who was running against County Legis. Joseph Scannell (D-Baldwin), Rice said, adding that none of the addresses actually exist.

On Wednesday, Browne said Insanally was “never a volunteer in my campaign” but part of a Republican effort to get the Tax Revolt party line for several candidates, including himself. “I don’t know that this young man did anything wrong, but if he did, he of course will have to be responsible for that,” he said.

Browne, who eventually ran on both the GOP and Conservative lines, lost the November 2009 race. During the campaign, Democrats alleged petition fraud by him. But immediately after the election, Steven Schlesinger, the Democratic Party lawyer, acknowledged he had no evidence that Browne committed petition fraud.

Insanally, a registered Republican, is due back in court Feb. 17. On Tuesday, his lawyer, Arshad Majid of Farmingdale, expressed confidence he would be cleared.

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John DeGrace, former GOP elections commissioner in Nassau and former Valley Stream mayor, said, "I know this young man personally, and I think this is a terrible thing against someone who has done nothing but help his community."

Insanally was arraigned and released with no bail by Nassau District Court Supervising Judge Christopher Quinn in Hempstead.

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