Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Larry Martin ruled this afternoon that Republican State Sen. David Storobin would remain on the ballot, despite the candidate putting the name of a dead woman on his petitions.
His Democratic opponent, Simcha Felder, argued that Storobin could be removed from the ballot for committing intentional fraud in gathering signatures, but Martin ruled that Storobin’s miscue did not rise to this level.
“While Storobin’s error regarding this particular signature was careless, and shows questionable judgment, the court does not find that such conduct constitutes evidence of any intentional fraud on his part,” Martin wrote.
Storobin testified that when he looked at a petition signature he had gathered, he thought that the signature was that of a woman named Hilda Danger — who happened to be dead. From his “walk list,” Storobin wrote in the address information for Danger, he said. The signature was actually that of Michail Issak, who testified during the trial that Storobin had indeed gathered his signature, according to Martin’s ruling.
Martin also found that a handwriting expert hired by Felder’s campaign had failed to find “clear and convincing” evidence that Storobin had fraudulently obtained several other signatures.
In response to the decision, Storobin spokesman Steven Stites said that, “Now voters can choose Sen. Storobin’s conservative leadership or his Obama Democrat opponent.”
Meanwhile, Felder campaign manager O.B. Murray said the Felder campaign would appeal the decision.
“We need to clean up the system,” Murray said. “We cannot have public officials, particularly those who are lawyers telling lies under penalty of perjury and then saying oops when they are caught. David Storobin signed a document that said he witnessed the signature of a dead woman, when he knew the signature that he had witnessed two hours earlier was that of non-citizen male construction worker. Then to support his lie he crossed out the address of the construction worker and replaced it with the address of the dead voter. That is more than a mistake. He is a public official and an attorney who made a representation that is too important to be simply labeled an innocent mistake. We are appealing.”
Here’s the decision:
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