Jul 22, 2013 7:02 PM by Andy Koen

Morse campaign calls for criminal probe into shady signatures

COLORADO SPRINGS - Supporters of embattled State Senator John Morse want criminal charges filed against a handful of people who were paid to collected signatures for recall petitions.

Christy LeLait of the group A Whole Lot of People for John Morse says five petition gatherers hired by Kennedy Enterprises cheated.

"The DA has a duty to investigate clear violations of Colorado law and we hope they have taken the time to review the documents provided."

She gave a copy of the sheets in question to a member of the DA's office along with an affidavit claiming at least 28 names were forged.

One such name, Twila Peach, actually died two years ago. Her husband Ken says Twila was known by her middle name Sue, and he says she always signed her name Twila Sue.

"It upsets me that somebody would try to use her name for political gain," he said.

Another name is signed Allen Davidson, when the actual homeowner at the listed address named Alan Davidson.

"The least they could do is spell my name right," Davidson said. "That's sheer stupidity right there."

LeLait believes there more forgeries, enough to invalidate the recall.

"Our campaign ran out time before we could verify all of the signatures, but we believe there are thousands of signatures that do not meet the legal standard."

But members the group Basic Freedom Defense Fund who back the recall say LeLait exaggerating.

"I think you're seeing a pattern here of folks who hold press conferences, wave a bunch of papers in the air and try to make you think something is true," said spokesperson Jennifer Kerns.

She wonders why LeLait's evidence never surfaced in previous the legal challenges at the Secretary of State's Office and in Denver District Court.

"We've done our own investigation and we found up to 50 signatures that may be invalid or inaccurate, maybe a result of a forgery, but that's 50 out of more than 16,000 that were turned in."

The worst offender identified by LeLait is a petition circulator named Nickolas Robinson, to whom she attributes 19 of the 28 questionable names.

His recall petition lists his address as 338 Graceland Grove. The landlord of that property tells News 5 no one by the name of Nickolas lives at the unit. Kennedy Enterprises declined our requests for an interview.

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