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San Francisco City Officials and Voter Fraud

by Public Guardian
SF Cop Accused of Voter Fraud add Nuru of DPW

SF Cop Accused of Voter Fraud

Deputy Chief Rick Bruce.

Manuel Ramos

Watch the Video

The Secretary of State voter fraud unit is set to investigate the voting record of a San Francisco Police Department deputy chief.

Rick Bruce has been mentioned as a candidate to be the new chief of police, but he reportedly has admitted that he voted in three San Francisco elections using his mother's address -- even though his real residence is in the nearby city of San Bruno.

Current police chief Alex Fagan refused to say much about the matter.

"I do not think it is appropriate for me to comment," he said. "There have been issues like this in the past."

High-ranking city officials who live outside San Francisco have been caught voting in the city before, but never a high-ranking police officer.

Bruce himself refused to discuss the matter Thursday. He was one of the few members of the police command staff not tainted by last year's cop brawl scandal, where a number of officers were indicted for allegedly blocking the investigation of three off-duty police officers.

There is an edict from City Hall that command staff members must live in San Francisco. Bruce is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle as saying the order may have led to his decision to vote in the city.

» 01-08-2004

Serious Voter Fraud Charges in SF Mayor's Race
Manuel Ramos

Watch the Video

A full-scale investigation is underway into serious charges of voter fraud in San Francisco's mayoral election.

A San Francisco Chronicle investigation uncovered accusations that nine people from the non-profit gardening group SLUG were forced to do work for Gavin Newsom's campaign, and pressured into voting for him for mayor -- told that their jobs with the city would be in danger if they didn't cooperate.

The Chronicle reports that this occurred while the people were contracted by the Department of Public Works. They claim the deputy public works director Mohammed Nuru and the executive director of SLUG, Jonathan Gomwalk, applied the pressure.

Mayor Newsom says if the charges are true, and he benefited from the fraud, he is disturbed by the idea that people might have been forced to vote for him.

"If these accusations are accurate, people should be held accountable," said Newsom. "I don't think anybody wants anyone working on their behalf doing anything inappropriate. So I want an investigation to go forward."

The head of DPW, director Ed Lee, says the investigation has been turned over to the city attorney.

"I really want the investigation to be completed as soon as possible," Lee said. "There will be full cooperation."

There was no sense of surprise among other elected officials that city employees may have been forced to vote a certain way.

"Do I think candidate Newsom orchestrated this? No," said Supervisor Chris Daly. "Do I think he knew about? Probably not. Do I think people in his campaign knew about this? I have been in enough campaigns to say it's likely."

Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who lost a mayor's runoff race four years ago, says some city workers had to campaign against him.

"I used to see city workers campaigning against me. Whether it was on their time or not, I don't know," he said. When asked if they were pressured, Ammiano said, "Well, some of them told me they were."

The new mayor says he will make it clear in a memo to city staff that pressuring workers to vote in a certain way will not be tolerated.

» 01-15-2004

Time to put a STOP to Voter FRAUD

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by Public Guardian (Stop the Voter Fraud)
San Francisco is now becoming a City where lawlessness by S.F city workers, especially Voter Fraud is becoming an accepted way of life. The record speaks for itself, time to check the City workers and see how many are voting here and live outside of the city.

Voter Fraud
The Secretary of State is committed to a goal of 100% voter participation by eligible citizens and a tough zero tolerance policy for voter fraud.
To help ensure a fraud-free election, the Secretary of State has increased the statewide voter fraud investigations unit, developed a Joint Voter Fraud Task Force with the attorney general’s office and published the first ever Voter Fraud Prevention Handbook which will help every citizen understand and report election irregularities to the Secretary of State’s fraud investigations unit.
You may view The Voter Fraud Prevention Handbook in pdf format by clicking here.
To order free copies of the handbook, please call 1-800-345-VOTE, or send an e-mail request with your mailing address to Elections [at]
If you:
• observe someone who appears to be coercing a person as they are casting their absentee ballot;
• witness someone completing a voter registration card which you know to be false;
• see a petition circulator signing names on petitions instead of having the voters sign their own names;
• watch someone mishandle completed voter registration cards
Call 1-800-345-VOTE or 1-866-452-8682.
In order for us to be able to investigate the allegation, it is critically important that you provide us with the date, time, place, and specific circumstances that you witness, as well as telling us your name and telephone number or some means of getting in touch with you to follow up and obtain further details. We need credible evidence -- not just suspicions of irregular activity. But if you truly believe you've witnessed an election-related irregularity, do not hesitate to call our hotline today!
Voter Fraud will not go undetected or unpunished!
by Gretchen Hildebran (History of voter fraud)
District 10 needs a free and fair election

Part 1 of a series on electoral fraud in San Francisco: Disappearing votes,
disappearing communities

by Gretchen Hildebran
Poor News Network

Voting should be the easiest thing in the world. It is the action that proves that we live in a democracy, that our lives are self-determined, not dictated from above. Of course the presidential election of 2000 destroyed that illusion for many. While politicians and their groupies peered at poorly designed ballots, thousands of people in Florida, the vast majority of them African Americans, were stepping forward to testify how their right to vote was denied altogether. Their names had been dropped from voting rosters, their cars were stopped and searched by the police, polling places made them wait for hours or had voting machines that didn’t work.

This was the true scandal behind that “election,” and it was hardly discussed in the media or by elections officials. The targeting of certain communities with the intent to deprive them of their right to vote is an old American practice that is alive and well today.

And not just in Florida – right here in San Francisco. While the district supervisor election of November 2000 represented to many a huge change in our city’s politics, for those who lived and voted – or tried to – in District 10, that election was more business as usual. The scandal that has emerged following that election has focused only on vague “inconsistencies” that the city has still not investigated. Behind these statistical errors is the real story of how entire communities are denied the right to self-representation.

The general election of 2000 was a testing ground for a change in San Francisco politics. For the first time in 20 years, supervisors would be elected by district. The candidates would be forced to live and run locally, and be accountable to the issues of people in their communities, not simply at City Hall.

In District 10, which encompasses Potrero, Bayview Hunters Point and Visitacion Valley, 12 candidates crowded the ballot. Three candidates were recognized in the community as contenders. Mayor-supported Linda Richardson had made a name for herself at City Hall, most notoriously during her stint on the Planning Commission. Richardson had the support of big money, evident in the more than $1 million spent on her campaign, a record for San Francisco Supervisor races. Another candidate, Sophie Maxwell, was known in the community but was more of a political unknown. Also running was Marie Harrison, community activist and Bay View columnist, whose outspoken political views were a threat to the politics-as-usual that rules from downtown.

But Harrison wasn’t just a candidate in that election, she was also on the streets as an observer of the Election Day that didn’t go by the rules. “There were great big discrepancies,” Harrison explained in a recent phone interview. “Many votes disappeared, never came out of their boxes, never were counted.” Harrison is an upbeat and charming lady, and she laughed often as she recounted her experiences on Election Day. Under the light tones, her voice also reflects deep seriousness about the effects of electoral fraud on her community, she continued,” What I witnessed was often in blatant disregard of election day laws - a cable car blasting pro-Richardson messages parked next door to various polling places and signs for the downtown-backed candidate were posted on poles in front, both of which are violations of the law protecting a polling place as a politically-free zone.”

Harrison even recalls seeing Richardson herself interfering with poll workers when they were assisting a woman who needed to retrieve her absentee ballot before she could vote in person. Harrison is humorous about these infractions – “Did anybody read the rulebook at all?” But she is serious about the intent and outcome of other violations that were clearly designed to intimidate voters or buy votes. Across from a Sunnydale polling place, Richardson supporters gave free hotdogs to folks who would vote their way. Harrison even spoke to several people who were paid $10 to vote for Richardson. In the weeks leading up to the elections, buses arrived at senior and public housing to take people to City Hall to vote. These “get out the vote” drives were sponsored by the A. Philip Randolph Institute, which was openly backing Richardson in the election. As an observer at City Hall, Harrison witnessed several seniors who were openly intimidated to vote a certain way. When she confronted one of the young people working on the bus, the response was, “They are paying us, and we aren’t the only ones. We are supposed to bring them here and they only draw one line (to vote for one candidate).”

“Seniors and other folks in public housing are particularly vulnerable to intimidation and bribes,” Harrison said, “due to poverty and the ‘one-strike’ policy of federal housing programs. All it takes is an accusation of drug use or criminal behavior to get kicked out of public housing, and this threat can be effective in influencing voting or discouraging it altogether.” This kind of harassment on the part of campaign workers is enhanced by the general police presence that was on the streets of Bayview Hunters Point on Election Day.

The net result of these infractions is not lost on Harrison, who placed third after Richardson and Maxwell in the general election (Maxwell went on to defeat Richardson in a runoff election). While the absentee voting hugely favored Richardson, the support Harrison had built up in her campaign disappeared to a mysterious degree in the returns from Election Day. Precincts where scores of friends and supporters had personally assured her of their votes had returns as low as five votes.

Harrison’s concern about missing votes has been confirmed, ironically enough, at the highest levels of government. In May 2001, Philip Paris, the acting director of the San Francisco Department of Elections, accused the former director of allowing 3,600 ballots to go uncounted in the November 2000 election. The political fallout of this scandal extends to the present day and provoked an investigation by the office of California Secretary of State Bill Jones.

Jones’ investigation discredited the estimate of 3,600 missing ballots but discovered that the number of ballots distributed differed greatly from the number that were counted. In the 21 San Francisco polling places checked at random, a total of 705 discrepancies were found. This prompted Jones to demand that San Francisco recanvass all the votes from that election, a process which would not check how people voted, but only compare the number of votes cast to the number counted in the final tally. The department of elections has refused to authorize a recanvass, blaming budget shortfalls. In a statement made to the city this February, Jones said, “The explanation for these discrepancies may lie in inaccurate record keeping or ballot storage procedures. Or, the explanation may involve intentional misreporting of election results.”

A recanvass of the vote would only begin to touch upon the questions these “discrepancies” raise. Such a huge proportion of error cannot be attributed simply to sloppy mismanagement at the department of elections. If ballots are missing, how were they taken, and whose interest does it serve to illegally affect election day outcomes?

Beyond the paper trail of missing ballots, the violations of election procedure and law that Marie Harrison witnessed as a candidate in Bayview Hunters Point have never been investigated. Beyond the dubious outcomes of that particular election, the overall effect of harassment, intimidation and missing votes is voter disenfranchisement.

Mary Ratcliff of the Bay View has noted the change since the November 2000 election. “Far fewer people are voting,” she said sadly. “A strong tradition of voting here in the Bayview had been lost long ago, but we were seeing it come back in the last decade.” Ironically, one of the best recent turnouts in the neighborhood had been in support of Willie Brown in 1995. Since the 2000 election, however, discouragement has prevailed at the polls. Says Ratliff, “This is the legacy that Brown is leaving us with. People are discouraged, depressed and cynical.”

“Part of the problem is there is no accountability,” remarked Harrison, “There is no faith in the system anymore, period.” When scandals come and go with regularity, issues like this one, which cut to the core of the rights and disenfranchisement of a community, drop out of public consciousness before anyone is held responsible. Harrison herself is far from discouraged and is planning another run in this year’s District 10 supervisor race: “I do believe that our community’s voice counts. There are people who don’t want to see us voting - because if we did, you would see some real change around here.”
by Sue Nelson
Enforcement of Election Integrity
"Corruption is a crime of calculation, not passion. When the size of the bribe is large, the chance of being caught small, and the penalty if caught meager, many officials will succumb." 327

Corruption of the electoral process is a breach of public trust and an illegal act. Enforcing the legal framework is essential to maintain electoral integrity. Without enforcement, the best legal framework or electoral systems can be bypassed or ignored.

As explained by the Director of the U.S. Elections Crime Branch (Department of Justice): "When elections are corrupted, arbitrary and corrupt government inevitably follow. Rooting out corruption in the electoral process, and bringing those responsible for it to swift and sure justice, is an important national law enforcement priority."328

Enforcement serves as a deterrent to future fraud as well as a mechanism to stop and expose current problems. Enforcing election integrity and its legal framework is done by different institutions and mechanisms according to the legal infrastructure of each country.

In some systems, Enforcement Agencies have complete institutional independence, especially the institutions dealing with criminal justice. Others may work under a common institutional umbrella with the elections policy or management body. But regardless of the individual variations, enforcement requires:

a violation of the election law, election-related code or regulation;

a Decision to Investigate;

Investigations to determine facts and obtain evidence;

a Decision to Prosecute;

Prosecution and Judicial Proceedings;

a judgement;

an opportunity for an appeal; and

penalties and sanctions if found liable or guilty.

For enforcement to be effective it must be active, impartial and timely. Investigative agencies and their investigators must have enough independence so they can initiate and throughly investigate allegations of election fraud or other related illegal activities.

Investigators must be objective and professional, and there should be no political interference with their work. These issues are discussed in Duties and Ethical Conduct of Investigators.

Integrity also requires that the rights of whistle-blowers, witnesses and the accused be protected. Defendants must have access to legal representation to ensure that their rights are protected. They must have access to the information that has been gathered against them, and to be able to present an adequate defense. These protections are discussed in Rights of Individuals in Investigations, and Rights of the Accused.

Prosecutors are often government employees or elected officials who can be very aware of public opinion and the politics involved in the problem being investigated. Prosecutors most often have discretion in determining if the evidence warrants a prosecution and, if so, who will be prosecuted. Subjective or unlimited discretion can have integrity consequences.

Courts and juries make the determination of guilt or innocence and must be impartial and separate from the prosecution. A judgement made with integrity is done on the basis of factual evidence and the legal context, not because of political affiliation, discrimination or unsubstantiated rumors. A fair hearing is usually facilitated by an independent judiciary.

The enforcement process can be subject to internal and external pressure and difficulties. Having transparent systems with checks and balances can protect the integrity of the enforcement process. These issues are discussed in Monitoring of Enforcement and Investigating in Difficult Circumstances.

by SFBG Reporter
The sleaze continues

IN JANUARY ALONE , three senior city employees with ties to former mayor Willie Brown have been charged with what in most cities would be called political corruption. A city attorney's report claims that a former secretary to Brown's deputy chief of staff, Steve Kawa, fixed parking tickets for herself and friends. A senior cop admitted that he voted in San Francisco although he didn't live in town. And a Department of Public Works official with close ties to Brown allegedly pressured members of a city street-cleaning crew to vote for Mayor Gavin Newsom and campaign for him on city time.

Together the allegations present a picture of rampant corruption at city hall and suggest that the Brown administration allowed, or perhaps encouraged, all sorts of illegal activity to take place. The three cases present the first major challenge to Mayor Newsom and the new district attorney, Kamala Harris: if they don't move quickly and firmly to investigate and resolve the charges, they'll be sending a clear signal that the ocean of sleaze that flowed through Brown's city hall is still at high tide.

And so far, the signs aren't too good.

Newsom's public comments on the case of Mohammed Nuru, the deputy director of public works who allegedly told the street cleaners they would lose their jobs if they didn't vote for Newsom, have been limited and cautious. He told the San Francisco Chronicle the case should be fully investigated – but he never expressed any outrage or concern that this might be more than an isolated incident.

And Newsom has said nothing of any substance about the cases of Mary Ellen O'Brien, who allegedly dismissed parking tickets for herself and friends, or Rick Bruce, the deputy police chief who apparently registered and voted in San Francisco while living in San Bruno.

Equally alarming, there has been no word whatsoever from the San Francisco District Attorney's Office on any of the cases, all of which involve potential crimes. Harris told the Bay Guardian during the campaign that she would aggressively pursue political corruption cases and that her close connections to Brown wouldn't hamper her ability to prosecute public officials who abused the public trust. But so far, the only local official who has opened investigations of O'Brien and Nuru is City Attorney Dennis Herrera, whose oversight is limited to civil and disciplinary matters. There's no evidence that anyone outside the San Francisco Police Department is investigating Bruce.

That doesn't give us much confidence in Harris's credibility. She needs to immediately and publicly open investigations into these three cases, and if there's any indication of criminal activity, she should bring charges.

Newsom should use these cases to announce that there will be zero tolerance for corruption in his administration – and begin by putting all three officials on administrative leave until the charges are resolved.

P.S. Newsom has been pushing for better oversight at the Department of Building Inspection, targeting the likes of Residential Builders Association head Joe O'Donoghue and permit expediter Walter Wong, both of whom happened to support Matt Gonzalez for mayor. We've been highly critical of DBI, and of Wong and O'Donoghue, for many years, and we're happy to see building-inspection and permit reforms. But that can't be the beginning and the end of Newsom's reform initiatives: with festering scandals at the San Francisco International Airport (the Kevin Williams firing, the Tutor-Saliba contracts, and more), at the Redevelopment Agency (with Lennar Corp.), at the Human Rights Commission (a long list), at Pacific Gas and Electric Co., and so many other city agencies and contractors, Newsom can't get away with claiming a reform agenda on the basis of cleaning up DBI.
by Progressive People (Stop Voter Fraud)
The People of Color Coalition is a multi cultural organization, representing the poor, the homeless, and people of multi ethnic backgrounds. Will be holding a Demonstration against Voter Fraud, at San Francisco City Hall, Polk Street side, at 11:30am, Thursday January 22nd. It is imperative that something is done to stop voter fraud and the people who are using the most vulnerable of our citizens like our seniors, our poor, our low income, our homeless as a stepping stone for their special interest. Help protect the integrity of voting in San Francisco, please come and support the People of Color demonstration at City Hall. A press release will be released shortly.
by Richard Marquez ((415) 305.5618)
For Immediate Release Contact: Richard Marquez
January 21, 2004 (415) 305.5618

People of Color Decry Civil Rights and Voting Rights Violations
in Mayor’s Election !

Tomorrow, Thursday January 22nd at 11:30am, on the steps of City Hall an emerging grassroots, electoral coalition of people of color will hold a press conference to demand that the City Attorney, the Secretary of State, and various City Commissions expand their investigative probe into DPW officials alleged misconduct in December’s Mayoral run-off contest. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, and told to the SF Human Rights Commission, African American street cleaners of a non-profit organization, SLUG, were pressured to vote for Gavin Newsom and walk precincts on election day by their supervisors in close collaboration with a high-ranking DPW official, Mohammed Nuru.

In light of these developments and in keeping with the founding principles of our Coalition’s formation, to preserve and protect the voting and civil rights of communities of color, our Coalition demands that the City Attorney and Secretary of State deepen their investigation and include:

+ Probing of over 150 incidents of documented voter abuse, intimidation and
fraud detected by members of an anti-Voter Fraud Unit in the Matt Gonzalez for Mayor Campaign.

+ Initiate pro-active steps by the City to ensure that an on-going, permanent voter
fraud unit be established at the Department of Elections;

+ Fund and publicize a City-wide 1-800-Multilingual Voter Fraud Reporting Hotline to assist authorities with uncovering and detecting voting rights violations in the City’s neighborhood precincts and absentee balloting campaigns that may have occurred, in widespread fashion, during November and December’s, 2003 Mayoral contest.

The damage and demoralization that has already impacted (particularly in communities of color) the confidence of the City’s electorate since this scandal broke, demands that City officials and City Commissions restore integrity and accountability to future elections in San Francisco, and eliminate any vestige of institutionalized discrimination that further disenfranchises voters in communities of color.


Thursday, January 22, 2004, 11:30am at
Steps of City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

by Public Guardian (Time for the City to step up to the plate)
The Supervisors should ask Bill Lee City Administrator to run the payroll addresses for city workers against the voter registration addresses for city workers looking for the exception for those that are registered that live out of the city. We suspect the numbers are in the hundreds if not the thousands. This is a very easy data base program to run, it would help restore voter integrity to San Francisco
by charlie m. manson
whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! quit crying.the election is over. better luck next time..and get me out of prison.
by Anastasia Hendrix, Chronicle Staff Writer (ahendrix [at]
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris opened an investigation Friday into allegations that city-paid workers were pressured to campaign and vote for Gavin Newsom for mayor and other complaints of election improprieties.

"If there has been any criminal misconduct people should and will be held accountable,'' Debbie Mesloh, Harris' spokeswoman, said in announcing the investigation.

Mesloh said the investigation will focus on accounts by street cleaners employed by a city-funded nonprofit group who told The Chronicle they were pressured by their supervisors to cast absentee ballots for Newsom and walk precincts for his campaign in the Nov. 4 general election and the Dec. 9 runoff against Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez.

Investigators also will review a list of 150 complaints catalogued by Gonzalez campaign workers on the day of the runoff, Mesloh said. The complaints -- made public by Gonzalez supporters on Thursday -- range from eyewitness accounts of physical and verbal intimidation at polling places to people being turned away or given misleading information about whether they could cast a vote.

Harris' investigation is the third to focus on the allegations of the street cleaners. Others have been launched by City Attorney Dennis Herrera and California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, the state's chief elections official.

None of the allegations reported by The Chronicle or aired by Gonzalez backers implicate Newsom or paid members of the new mayor's campaign.

"As we've said again and again, there will be no tolerance for these types of activities," Peter Ragone, a spokesman for Newsom, said after receiving word of the district attorney's probe. "We welcome a fair and swift investigation of the allegations made over the past several weeks."

Ragone added that investigators should be looking into "all the allegations" of election-related misconduct during the 2003.

In the weeks leading up to the Dec. 9 mayoral runoff, the Newsom campaign charged that a Gonzalez strategist, Ross Mirkarimi, who works as an investigator in the district attorney's office, was campaigning on public time. Mirkarimi denied the allegation.

The street cleaners told The Chronicle that Mohammed Nuru, the No. 2 official at the city Department of Public Works, and their supervisors at the nonprofit San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, or SLUG, told the workers that their jobs depended on Newsom winning the election.

Nuru and Jonathan Gomwalk, the executive director of SLUG, denied wrongdoing. Nuru said he never pressured anyone to do anything against his or her will. Gomwalk said SLUG urged workers to take part in the election as part of a civics component of a welfare-to-work program run by the organization.

The city attorney investigation is focused on whether state and local laws against use of public funds for political activity were violated. SLUG is funded by the Public Works Department.

The secretary of state probe focuses on possible violations of the California Election Code, which prohibits inducing someone to vote for or against a candidate in exchange for money, gifts or promises of a job.

The decision by District Attorney Harris to investigate the accounts of the street cleaners could entail questioning members of her own campaign staff. Harris defeated incumbent District Attorney Terence Hallinan in the Dec. 9 runoff election.

Some of the street cleaners told The Chronicle that Gomwalk, the SLUG executive director, told them to participate in a Dec. 2 get-out-the-vote event sponsored by the Harris for District Attorney campaign. They said they rode in vans organized by Harris to the Department of Elections at City Hall, where they said they were pressured by SLUG crew chiefs to cast absentee ballots for Newsom.

After casting their ballots, they said, crew chiefs asked them to turn over their voter receipt stubs. One street cleaner said a crew chief peered over her shoulder as she voted.

Mesloh said the district attorney was unaware of any activities involving her campaign that could preclude her from investigating the street cleaners' allegations.

"We do not know of any conflict of interest," she said. "We've opened the investigation and the D.A. feels strongly that if there was any misconduct, we want to find that out quickly and that individuals need to be held accountable. ''

by Just Curious (Willie Brown's 501c3 stratergy)
What was your envolvement in Willie Brown's Reelection Campaign. What did you see that caused you to leave 1800 Oakdale in a hurry? Did you see Nuru? Did you see several CBO'S?
Where are the federal investigators in San Francisco's Voting Fraud? Send your e-mail to sebastian.aloot [at] he is the Interagency Coordinator at USDOJ, ask him to please forward your comments to USDOJ Voting Rights Division.

Here is an article from Indiana -What about San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point Community?

Federal investigators join voter fraud probe

By Mary Beth Schneider
mary.beth.schneider [at]
January 23, 2004

Federal investigators have now joined the joint state and county probe of voter fraud and corruption in Lake County.

The probe began last year in the wake of the May 7 primary election, in which nine-term Democratic Mayor Robert Pastrick of East Chicago narrowly won, but only on the strength of absentee ballots. His opponent, George Pabey, alleged that hundreds of fraudulent absentee ballots cost him the election.

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter, a Democrat, joined Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter, a Republican and no relation, at news conferences in Lake County and the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Thursday to announce that the special task force they created in September now includes federal help.

Joseph Van Bokkelen, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, is joining the investigation, an addition that Bernard Carter said adds the resources and power of both the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI to the team. It also means both a county and a federal grand jury will be investigating.

Steve Carter said the investigations will address "a very fundamental issue that's been plaguing citizens of northwest Indiana for some time -- the importance of honest government -- and honest government starts with honest elections."

Too often, he said, there have been problems in Lake County. He cited the federal convictions of a trio of local officeholders, including former Gary City Clerk Katie Hall, a former member of Congress.

In addition, federal indictments have been issued against Pastrick's son, Kevin Pastrick, and former Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Peter Manous on conspiracy and fraud charges in the case involving a land development in Porter County.

"Contrary to what people may believe, the people of my county want honest elections," Bernard Carter said. "There's only a handful of maybe five or six people that don't want it that have existed in my county."

Call Star reporter Mary Beth Schneider at 1-317-444-2772.
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