The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

October 14, 2013

Two charged with voter fraud in Fayette County

UNIONTOWN — Two Democratic western Pennsylvania township officials were charged with voter fraud for allegedly soliciting absentee votes from elderly residents who weren’t eligible to cast such ballots.

An investigative grand jury recommended the charges filed Friday by state police.

“I think every citizen should have faith that the electoral system be played on an even playing field with the rules being obeyed and, when violated, the violators be penalized,” said Fayette County District Attorney Jack Heneks, who is a Democrat in a county where nearly 70 percent of registered voters also belong to the party.

William Geary, 62, and Thomas Keefer, 58, both Bullskin Township supervisors, will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing after they receive mailed court summonses advising them of the charges.

The grand jury was convened after Democratic nominee David Butler complained after losing to Keefer in the November 2011 general election by nine votes. Keefer, an incumbent, had lost the May 2011 Democratic primary to Butler, but got 741 votes compared with 732 for Butler after waging a write-in campaign that November.

The grand jury found that Keefer and Geary, another incumbent, visited 13 elderly voters’ homes to help them complete the ballots despite knowing the voters were physically able to vote in-person on Election Day. Both men also failed to fill out declarations of physical disability with the ballots, which certify that the voters wouldn’t be able to vote in-person, the grand jury found.

The grand jury found Keefer obtained six votes that way, while Geary obtained seven more votes for Keefer the same way.

Keefer’s defense attorney, Jack Purcell, said his client is innocent. Geary couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, and he doesn’t have an attorney listed in court papers.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 2014

  • bomb1 VIDEO | A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Freeh gets expedited appeal in Penn State lawsuit

    April 15, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads