An ex-staffer to former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges for her role in the petition signature scandal that brought about the political downfall of the Republican congressman from Livonia.
Lorianne O’Brady, a 52-year-old from Livonia, entered a no contest plea on five misdemeanor charges of falsely signing a nominating petition as a circulator in front of 16th District Court Judge Kathleen J. McCann on Monday, Sept. 17, according to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
O’Brady, who faces up to 93 days in jail, is slated for sentencing on Oct. 25.
Following a months-long investigation, Schuette announced charges against four local staffers of the five-term congressman who was prevented from appearing on the Aug. 7 primary election ballot because just a few hundred of the 1,800 voter signatures his team submitted to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office were deemed legitimate.
Also facing jail time are:
• Don Yowchuang, the 33-year-old deputy district director from Farmington Hills: 10 counts of election fraud forgery, a five-year felony; one count of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner, a five-year felony; and six counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as a circulator, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail;
• Paul Seewald, the 47-year-old district director from Livonia: One count of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and nine counts of falsely signing a nominating petition; and
• Mary Melissa Turnbull, a 58-year-old district representative from Howell: One count of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner, and one count of falsely signing a nominating petition as a circulator.
“Our office will continue to prosecute the remaining defendants involved in this shameful violation of the public trust,” Schuette stated last week in a press release.
Milford Republican Kerry Bentivolio won the Aug. 7 primary election in the new 11th Congressional District and faces Dr. Syed Taj, a member of the Canton Township Board of Trustees, in the Nov. 6 general election to serve a two-year term in Congress that pays $174,000 per year.
Bentivolio also won in a five-way Republican primary election in the current 11th Congressional District on Sept. 5 for the right to represent the GOP in a Nov. 6 special general election, where he will face Democrat David A. Curson of Belleville. The winner will serve the remaining few weeks of McCotter’s unexpired term.