Man arrested for allegedly defacing recall petitions

WEST BEND -- West Bend police say they arrested 30-year-old Jeffrey Karnitz for destroying a recall election petition, and now, he could face a felony charge.

According to Washington County recall organizer Waring Fincke, when recall volunteers were gathering signatures over the weekend, Karnitz crossed the line by crossing out names on the petition. Fincke said Karnitz drove up and was given two clipboards - one for Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and one for Gov. Scott Walker, and instead of signing the petitions, he scribbled across names that were already there. A petitioner gathering signatures recorded his license plate number, and turned it into police.

Karnitz was released until his court appearance, and it's now up to the district attorney to decide whether there will be any charges filed. Recall organizers say they want a stiff punishment. "We hope the message that gets sent is, we're going to deal with this seriously. This is felonious behavior and it ought to be dealt with that way. You can express your opinion in any number of ways, but it doesn't mean you get to violate the law to do it. You shouldn't take away the right of other people to sign, and that's what he did by obliterating signatures," Fincke said.

Government Accountability Board: Recall Election Info.

Recall Integrity Center: recall fraud website