The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

August 9, 2013

Cops: Judge’s signature was forged to fool skeptical mom

Patrick Buchnowski

JOHNSTOWN — A Johnstown area man accused for forging the signature of a Cambria County judge on a divorce decree will answer the felony charge in county court, authorities said.

Louis Craig Divido, 55, of the 2500 block of Bedford Street, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Max Pavlovich of Richland Township.

In a criminal complaint, county detectives allege that Divido forged the signature of Judge Thomas Swope on a document to prove to his girlfriend’s mother that he was divorced from Mary Divido.

Louis Divido went to the Richland library on Schoolhouse Road in February 2011 and printed out a “Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County Pennsylvania Civil Action-Law” document and signed the judge’s name.

“The commonwealth takes these crimes very seriously,” Assistant District Attorney Tamara Bernstein said.

Divido offered the document as proof to the woman, who objected to her daughter’s dating a married man who was 27 years older.

“He wanted to utilize the document to resolve the problems the he had in dating the complainant’s daughter,” said Robert Davis Gleason, Divido’s Johnstown attorney.

“He wanted to show that he was serious about the relationship.”

Divido’s divorce from Mary Divido is not final, according to the Cambria County prothonotary’s office.

“Lou certainly regrets the incident,” Gleason said. “He’s especially apologetic to Judge Swope and wishes to resolve it by an appropriate plea.”

Divido has a criminal record and is on the Pennsylvania Megan’s law list for sexual offenders.

He was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail after pleading guilty to invasion of privacy in connection to an incident in Butler County in August 2011.

In that case, Butler Township police said Divido peeked into a locker room at the Butler County vo-tech and video recorded five students in various states of undress.

Divido appeared before Pavlovich on Tuesday.