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MILWAUKEE - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that three individuals charged with election fraud arising out of the November 4, 2008, Presidential Election were bound over for trial following their appearances in preliminary hearing court this morning. Maria Miles, Kevin Clancy, and Michael Henderson waived their preliminary hearing before Milwaukee County Circuit Court Commissioner David Sweet, who found probable cause to believe each defendant committed a felony. The defendants were bound over for trial, and each entered a not guilty plea. Scheduling conferences have been set for May 14, 2010, before Judge Richard Sankovitz.
The case involving allegations of double voting against a Milwaukee couple, Herbert and Suzanne Gunka, was adjourned by Commissioner Sweet to June 1, 2010, for Judge Sankovitz to determine whether or not a conflict exists that would prevent attorney James Blask, who has represented both defendants thus far in the proceeding, from continuing to represent both defendants. The preliminary hearing in that case will be rescheduled once this issue is resolved.
Herbert Gunka, Suzanne Gunka, Maria Miles, Kevin Clancy, and Michael Henderson were all charged by the Election Fraud Task Force, a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Milwaukee District Attorney's Office and the Milwaukee Police Department.
According to the criminal complaints, Miles and Clancy served as Special Registration Deputies ("SRD") for the City of Milwaukee in advance of the 2008 Presidential Election. Each worked for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now ("ACORN"). Miles and Clancy are each charged with the felony offense of Falsely Procuring Voter Registration as Party to a Crime. The complaint alleges that Miles and Clancy submitted multiple voter registration applications for the same individuals, and also were part of a scheme in which they and other SRDs registered each other to vote multiple times in order to meet voter registration quotas imposed by ACORN.
Henderson is charged with one count of Voting by a Disqualified Person and one count of Providing False Information to Election Officials, both felonies. His complaint alleges that Henderson registered to vote at the polls on November 4, 2008, thereby certifying that he was a qualified elector. It also alleges that he then cast a ballot. At that time, Henderson was on an active period of probation for felony convictions from Rock County. A felon on an active period of supervision for a felony offense is prohibited by state law from voting in any election.
Herbert and Suzanne Gunka are each charged with the felony offense of Double Voting. Their complaint alleges that they each voted in the November 2008 election by casting absentee ballots before the election. The complaint also alleges that after casting absentee ballots, they each voted in person at their polling place on election day.
Each individual charge against the defendants carries a potential penalty of imprisonment up to 3 years and a $10,000 fine.
Prior to the November 2008 election, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced the creation of the Election Fraud Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional action team that evaluates, investigates and prosecutes complaints of electoral fraud. The Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office work cooperatively with local law enforcement and the Milwaukee Police Department as needed when investigation is required.
A criminal complaint is a document accusing a person of a violation of criminal law. A defendant enjoys a presumption of innocence. The prosecution must prove its allegations at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas is representing the State.