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Wider fraud probe urged

Brizill: U.S. attorney to get evidence of more violations

(Published August 12, 2002)

By KATHRYN SINZINGER

Staff Writer

D.C. government employees have been improperly involved in the re-election campaign of Mayor Anthony A. Williams, according to allegations made last week by citizen activist Dorothy Brizill before the Board of Election and Ethics.

Brizill, executive director of the watchdog organization DC Watch, told the elections board she intends to share her evidence of further violations by the Williams campaign with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She said she made her decision to withhold this information from elections officials because they are unable to provide legal protection to witnesses in exchange for their testimony.

Brizill, her husband Gary Imhoff and Republican activists Shaun Snyder and Mark Sibley teamed up last month to challenge the more than 10,000 signatures on nominating petitions submitted in support of the mayor’s bid to get a spot on the Sept. 10 Democratic primary ballot.

The elections board ultimately ruled fewer than the required 2,000 signatures to be valid due to "rampant" forgeries and fraud on the mayor’s petitions, keeping Williams’ name off the ballot. The board referred the matter to the U.S. attorney for further investigation.

The mayor is conducting a write-in campaign for the Democratic mayoral nomination, after the D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the elections board’s ruling.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator