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Ex-Rep. McCotter's ex-aides enter pleas

Nov. 28, 2012 at 1:23 PM

DETROIT, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Two of former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's one-time employees entered pleas in the petition fraud scandal that led to the Michigan Republican's resignation.

Don Yowchuang, McCotter's former deputy district director, pleaded no contest in Wayne County Circuit Court to 10 felony counts of forgery and six misdemeanor counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

Paul Seewald, who served as McCotter's district director, pleaded guilty to nine counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator Tuesday, the Free Press said.

Four members of McCotter's staff were charged with 13 felonies and 21 misdemeanors in the scandal investigators said involved submitting doctored petitions to qualify the congressman for the 2012 Michigan ballot.

Seewald and Yowchuang will be sentenced Jan. 18. A charge of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner is pending, the Free Press said. Judge Margie Braxton scheduled a hearing Jan. 9 to consider a motion to quash the conspiracy charge.

Lorianne O'Brady, who was a scheduler, pleaded no contest in September to five counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator and was sentenced to 20 days in jail or 20 days in a work program.

Mary Turnbull was charged with conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator. A pretrial hearing in Oakland County Circuit Court is scheduled for Jan. 8.

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