MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A former Morgantown City Council candidate who was accused of falsifying signatures for his nomination petition to become a candidate for the Morgantown City Council in 2019 pleaded guilty on Thursday, Secretary of State Mac Warner announced.
According to a release from Warner’s office, Timothy Aaron Metz became the subject of an investigation after Morgantown election officials alerted the Secretary of State’s Office that he may have falsified his candidate certificate of announcement, which in Morgantown requires the signatures of a certain number of City residents. The investigation found 21 signatures on Metz’s nomination petitions were fraudulent, including the signature of one deceased individual.
The release stated that in March, Metz withdrew from the Morgantown City election and admitted that he “cut corners” in collecting the required signatures to get his name on the ballot. In September, Metz was indicted for election fraud by the Monongalia County grand jury.
Warner’s Office stated that on Thursday, before Monongalia Circuit Court Judge Phillip Gaujot, Metz pleaded guilty to once felony count of falsely filing a certificate of nomination. The release stated that in return for the guilty plea, Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney Perri DeChristopher and the court agreed to a pre-trial diversion and placed Metz under supervised probation for a period of two years.
“Election fraud at any level of government will never be tolerated in West Virginia,” said Secretary of State Mac Warner. “Our office will continue to work closely with local election officials and county prosecutors to make sure election improprieties are properly investigated and those people found guilty are held accountable.”
Warner said that the situation with Metz was discovered by an alert election worker for the City of Morgantown. Warner thanked the City officials for quick action and working closely with the Secretary of State and Prosecuting Attorney DeChristopher on the matter.