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Milwaukee — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Yadira Colon, formerly of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, made her initial appearance today in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on two counts of election fraud and two counts of falsification of nomination papers.
The charges resulted from an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), with assistance from the Milwaukee Police Department, into allegations of irregularities on nomination papers filed for then-Representative Pedro Colon for the November 2008 election. The DOJ was asked to review the matter and serve as special prosecutor at the request of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. Pedro Colon is now a circuit court judge for Milwaukee County.
The criminal complaint alleges that Ms. Colon, who is not related to Judge Colon, falsified nomination papers by forging signatures and certifying that she had personally obtained each of the signatures on pages two and three of the nomination papers for Colon for Representative to the Assembly – 8th District. In addition, the criminal complaint alleges that Ms. Colon completed a voter registration application on March 27, 2008, at the City of Milwaukee Election Commission. Ms. Colon listed her address as 1927 South 7th Street, Apartment A, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when she actually resided in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Ms. Colon then proceeded to vote via absentee ballot in the City of Milwaukee for the April 2008 election without meeting the necessary residence requirement.
The maximum possible penalty for all four counts is a term of imprisonment not to exceed three years and six months or a $10,000 fine, or both, as to each count.
The complaint was filed in November 2009, and an arrest warrant was issued for the defendant at that time. The defendant was apprehended in Florida earlier this week and returned to Wisconsin on this case. At the initial appearance today, cash bail was set for the defendant in the amount of $500.00. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 22, 2012, at 8:30 a.m.
The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas represents the state.