2011-10-06 / Local & State

Pittsburgh Councilman Accused Of Forging Petitions

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle has been charged with misdemeanor counts of forgery and perjury for nominating petitions he circulated in 2010 for state Rep. Jake Wheatley.

Lavelle didn't immediately return a call to his council office Thursday after Allegheny County police announced the charges.

Police say the 33-year-old councilman attested to petitions that contained signatures from a dead man, another who was jailed in New Jersey at the time, and several who no longer lived in the area. Two other signatures were dated Feb. 29, 2010 – a date that did not exist in the non-leap year the petitions were circulated.

County police began investigating after Tonya Payne, the councilwoman Lavelle defeated in 2009, filed a complaint alleging the forgeries after she lost the Democratic primary for Wheatley's seat that year. Lavelle is also a Democrat.

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