MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A former Morgantown City Council candidate is facing two felony charges after state troopers said he used more than 20 fake signatures on his nomination petition for city council.
A criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Police stated that on March 13, 2019, an investigator with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office was assigned to a complaint alleging that Timothy Aaron Metz, 44, of Morgantown had submitted Morgantown Candidate for City Council election forms which contained fraudulent information.
The complaint stated that the investigator interviewed Morgantown city officials and learned that on January 25, 2019, Metz filed the required “Multiple Candidates Certificate of Announcement” seeking the office of council member of Ward Seven in Morgantown. According to court documents, the Charter of the City of Morgantown requires that a candidate for city council obtain at least 75 signatures of registered voters from the Ward in which the candidate is seeking election who endorse that person’s candidacy.
Troopers said Metz obtained the form “The City of Morgantown Nominating Petition for Office of City Council Member” on February 11. Metz later returned eight pages of the Nominating Petition form, which included the names, addresses and signatures of 92 individuals, according to the complaint.
The criminal complaint stated that a part-time Morgantown City Elections Secretary, while reviewing the nominating petition form, recognized the name of a person who she knew was dead. The complaint also stated that the Monongalia County Clerk provided a death certificate for that individual, which confirmed she had died in October 2018, despite Metz’s nominating petition showing that her signature had been obtained approximately 3 months after her death on January 12, 2019.
Troopers said that the investigator with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office interviewed an additional 20 individuals whose names, addresses and signatures appeared on Metz’s nominating petition, all of whom stated they had not signed the form nor met Metz on the date the form showed their information has been obtained.
Troopers said Metz filed a certificate of nomination required for each petition, knowing the same to be falsely made. Troopers also said that Metz signed the name of persons to the nominating petition without their consent.
Court documents show that Metz has been charged with one felony count of unlawfully and intentionally, falsely making a certificate of nomination or filing a certificate of nomination knowing the same or any part thereof to be falsely made and one felony count of unlawfully and intentionally, without the assent of another, signing the name of such other person(s) to a certificate, statement of writing, required by Code, with the intent to mislead and deceive.