Two employees of the Suffolk County Board of Elections, as well as an East Hampton Independence Party leader, were charged Tuesday with forging signatures on nominating petitions, in some cases with the names of dead people, District Attorney Timothy Sini said.
The former chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Party is expected to face similar charges in court Wednesday.
Board of Elections employee William Mann, 60, of Cutchogue, faces charges of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and two counts of official misconduct. Another employee, Gregory Dickerson, 55, of Mattituck, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.
An affidavit from Robert Maloney, an investigator with Sini’s office, said Mann and Dickerson submitted Green Party nominating petitions to the Board of Elections in July that contained forged signatures, including, in one case, the signature of a person who died in 2014. Mann and Dickerson hoped to get Republican candidates listed under the Green Party on the Nov. 6 ballot to boost GOP chances of victory in last month’s election, Sini said.
Independence Party Vice Chairwoman Patricia Mansir, a former East Hampton Town Trustee, was charged with four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and four counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Maloney’s affidavit said Mansir, 72, submitted Independence Party nominating petitions that included forged signatures — including one from a person who died in 2016.
The three defendants pleaded not guilty in First District Court in Central Islip and were released on their own recognizance.
Amos Goodman, who resigned last week as the chairman of the East Hampton Republican Party, submitted nominating petitions for three races that contained at least 43 forgeries, Sini said, including the signature of a person who died in 2017. Goodman, 35, of East Hampton, is expected to surrender Wednesday with his attorney at the district attorney’s office in Hauppauge. He is to be arraigned on 10 felony counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and 10 felony counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, authorities said.
“We have an obligation to protect and ensure the integrity of our elections,” Sini said. ”What makes this case particularly troubling is that two individuals are employed by the very agency that is charged with ensuring the integrity of our elections, the Suffolk County Board of Elections.”
Sini said the candidates whose nominating petitions were allegedly tainted by forged signatures were not aware of the scheme and none won their general election races. One candidate withdrew his nomination after the East Hampton Town Republican Party filed a lawsuit earlier this year that accused leaders of the Independence Party of forging petition signatures.
Mann and Dickerson did not return calls seeking comment. Goodman could not be reached for comment.
Mansir's attorney, Carl Irace, of East Hampton, said: “My client denies the allegations and looks forward to be proven innocent, though she should have never been put in a position to have to defend her good name.”