A former Democrat Congressman, now working as a campaign consultant, was indicted Thursday on charges that he bribed a poll worker to stuff ballot boxes for Democrat candidates in local elections.
Federal prosecutors said former U.S. Rep. Michael “Ozzie” Myers paid a South Philadelphia judge of elections to fraudulently add votes for candidates who had hired him between 2014 to 2016.
The eight-count indictment, unsealed by the Department of Justice on Thursday, alleges Myers paid thousands of dollars to Election Judge Domenick DeMuro, a Democratic ward judge, during the 2015 Democratic primary to pad vote counts for three candidates.
The indictment hints that Myers also conspired with other unnamed election board officials and tampered with vote results for other favored candidates, including for local, state, and federal offices — including members of the U.S. House — discrediting longstanding Democrat claims that voter fraud “does not exist.”
Prosecutors did not identify the Democrat candidates, say whether they won election, or indicate whether the fraudulent votes proved decisive. Still, the 40 fake ballots added by the corrupt judge Domenick DeMuro accounted for 15% of the votes certified from the ward he oversaw.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Myer’s indictment “hints at an ongoing investigation, broadly accusing Myers of conspiring with other unnamed election board officials and tampering with vote results for other favored candidates, including for local, state, and federal offices — including members of the U.S. House.“
“If only one vote has been illegally rung up or fraudulently stuffed into a ballot box, the integrity of that entire election is undermined,” U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said in a video statement outlining the case against the former Democrat congressman.
“Votes are not things to be purchased, and democracy is not for sale.”
“These charges, announced today by the Justice Department, clearly illustrate allegations of absolute disregard for the sanctity of our electoral system,” said Captain Leo D. Hannon Jr., Director of the Special Investigations Division of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Myers, 77, did not return calls for comment Thursday. His attorneys, Noah Gorson and Arnold R. Silverstein, also declined to comment.
The former congressman is expected to surrender next week for his first court appearance. If convicted, he is facing a maximum 20-year sentence on the most serious charge.
Myers was expelled from Congress in the 1970s after he was caught taking bribes in the Abscam sting investigation.