|Guilty Plea In Voter Fraud
June 28, 2013
Two Gladstone residents today pleaded guilty to charges related to voter fraud in the Aug. 3, 2010, primary election in Kansas City, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
John C. Moretina, 60, and Clara M. Moretina, 61, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of Committing Class Three Election Offenses. They entered the plea this morning before Jackson County Judge Joel Fahnestock.
According to the charging document, the Moretinas attempted to vote in an election that they knew they were not entitled to vote. They willfully provided to Kansas City Board of Election officials false information as to their addresses and residences in order to vote in the 40th Missouri House District on Aug. 3, 2010.
As part of a plea agreement approved today by Judge Fahnestock, the Moretinas agreed to pay a fine of $250. By pleading guilty to an election offense, they also give up their right to vote in a future election, under Sec. 561.026 of Missouri Revised Statutes.
“Justice was done,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. “These two will never vote again.”
Baker said her office, in prosecuting the case, cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Office of Secretary of State. Baker declined to comment further on the Moretinas’ plea or sentence, citing a pending federal case.
“I appreciate the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office’s thoroughness and responsiveness in working with my office to ensure justice was properly served,” said Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. “This case sends a clear warning to anyone that would consider trying to hurt the integrity of our elections: We have zero tolerance for voter fraud in Missouri.”
According to court documents filed today, Kansas City Police Department detectives began to investigate voter fraud allegations after John C. Moretina pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to voter fraud by registering to voter on or about July 9, 2010, using a false address. Moretina, who actually resided in Gladstone in Clay County, voted in the 40th District primary in Jackson County on Aug. 3, 2010, using the false address. The Moretinas told an FBI Special Agent in May 2012 that they registered to vote in the 40th District primary because their nephew was a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives in the 40th District.