2 years probation for former county supervisor convicted of election fraud
MILWAUKEE — Peggy West, the former Milwaukee County Supervisor convicted of falsifying information on her nomination papers was sentenced Wednesday, Sept. 26 to two years probation and a $2,500 fine, which she must pay within two years. She must also perform 50 hours of community service.
West, 47, on Aug. 8 pleaded guilty to election fraud.
West served on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors for 14 years — representing the county’s south side.
A review of West’s papers showed numerous discrepancies, a criminal complaint alleged. Among them: five people whose signatures appeared said they never signed, and a property manager said one woman whose signature appeared moved to Florida four years ago.
Another 16 people said they did sign, but West was not the one who circulated the papers. That was an issue because West signed the pages as the circulator, the criminal complaint said.
“Peggy has worked really hard for her constituents over the last 14 years,” said Michael Maistelman, West’s attorney, after charges were filed.
“She’s supporting her family. She’s, like I said, proudly served her constituents for so many years and she’s keeping her head up and doing the best she can,” Maistelman said.
West’s political opponent who won the election brought her doubts about the validity of the signatures on West’s nomination papers to the attention of the Election Commission.
“I was very shocked that Mrs. West is being accused of making up names. It saddens me that happened,” said Sylvia Ortiz-Velez.
Ortiz-Velez, the current supervisor in West’s former seat said the process is important.
“I think it’s important because our elections are important and the integrity of the elections are important. Whether it’s now or later, the integrity of our elections are important,” said Ortiz-Velez.
Ortiz-Velez said the signatures that seemed sketchy to her at the time were gathered inside of a locked senior citizen center. She said that made it difficult for her to investigate and challenge at the time.