Secretary of State Kate Brown and Attorney General John Kroger today announced the successful prosecution of a Portland woman for submitting false signatures for an initiative petition.
“The initiative is one of Oregon’s most important democratic tools,” Secretary of State Brown said. “Anyone who abuses the system will be prosecuted.”
“I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to elections fraud,” added Attorney General Kroger.
Diana Clagett, 41, pleaded guilty to one felony count of making a false statement on Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Clagett turned in three initiative petition sheets in 2005 that contained 27 questionable signatures for what ultimately became Measure 42 on the November 2006 ballot. An investigation by the Secretary of State’s office determined that the signatures either belonged to unregistered voters or did not match the signature on the voter registration card.
The Department of Justice began a criminal investigation but could not track down Clagett, a transient. A Multnomah County grand jury indicted Clagett in December on two counts of making a false statement and she was arrested in January.
As a result of her guilty plea, Clagett will be placed on probation.
Assistant Attorney General Scott Jackson prosecuted the case.