A former Belleville city clerk candidate accused of improperly signing candidate petition forms has pleaded guilty to perjury.
Aunye Mabry, 28, admitted that she signed the bottom of the forms, but the forms should have been signed by the person or persons who actually collected the petitions. Hopeful candidates are required to submit the petitions before their names can be placed on a ballot.
Mabry, who announced in December that she was running for city clerk in the April 4 election, was placed on probation for 18 months for the felony charge. Associate Judge Zina Cruse on Tuesday also ordered Mabry to serve 40 hours of community service and pay $1,167 in fees, fines and court costs. A forgery charge was dismissed.
Mabry could not immediately be reached for comment. Mabry, who resigned from her job as a cashier in the city treasurer’s office, was charged in March and dropped out of the city clerk’s race before ballots were printed.
Dedra Brock-Moore, Mabry’s attorney, said Mabry only had about a week to collect the petitions after she was asked by former City Clerk Dallas Cook to run for the city clerk’s position. Cook did not run for re-election for the city clerk’s position but instead ran unsuccessfully for mayor.
Brock-Moore said Mabry did not have prior experience in running for political office.
“It was an innocent mistake,” Brock-Moore said.
Mabry signed her name on the candidate petition forms near where the form states “the signatures on this sheet were signed in my presence.”
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly called it “a pretty straightforward case.”
The handwriting on the petition forms is “exactly the same going down from top to bottom on numerous sheets,” Kelly said.
“It’s not clear who created them based on the handwriting analysis,” Kelly said. “There are some pages where it’s clear one person was entering those names over and over and over again. What is clear, without a doubt, is that they were certainly not done in the presence of Ms. Mabry as to what was attested to at the bottom of the sheets.”
The case was investigated by the Illinois State Police’s public integrity task force, and Kelly praised the investigators for their “excellent job.”