Man faces nine felony charges for false recall petition signatures

RACINE -- A man accused of falsely writing in signatures on a petition to recall State Senator Van Wanggaard, including one from a deceased person, is facing nine felony charges.

59-year-old Mark Demet of Racine has been charged by the Racine County District Attorney's office with two felony counts of election fraud/nomination certification and seven felony counts of misappropriating identifying information for financial gain. If convicted on all charges, Demet faces up to 42 years in prison, and fines up to $90,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Demet admitted that he circulated the petition and signed the names of seven people on the petition. Investigators spoke to six of the people whose names appeared on the list to verify that they had not signed the petition.

"Neighborly" was a word used to describe the Racine block where Demet lives, but the intersection of politics and the law has turned at least one of Demet's neighbors against him in the community. Jason Adams says his name was used fraudulently by Demet on a recall petition."He was angry about what Walker was doing and I explained my position and it was friendly remarks," Adams said. "I'm fourth-generation in this house, and talk to him off the cuff here and there. Seemed like (a nice guy) until he stole my identity."

Adams and another alleged victim live on both sides of Demet's listed address. On the day charges were filed against Demet, FOX6 visited his home, but no one was there.

According to the criminal complaint, Demet admitted placing the false names on the petitions. "He stole my voice, and that's being a victim of something. There's a lot of countries where you can't vote and you can't voice your opinion," Adams said.

Demet is expected to make an initial court appearance at 1:30 p.m. on March 13th.