Local Police Reports

Southwest Suburban Woman Indicted On Allegations She Forged Signatures on Election Petitions

Cook County, IL-(ENEWSPF)- An activist for a southwest suburban tax watch group has been indicted on allegatinos she filed petitions with the Circuit Court of Cook County that contained forged and unauthorized signatures of registered voters in an attempt to get a referendum placed on the ballot in Oak Lawn, the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced today.

Myrna Jurcev, 69, of Oak Lawn, has been charged with the felony offense of Mutilation of Election Materials and the misdemeanor offense of Disregard of Election Code. Jurcev appeared in court this morning at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building in Chicago where the indictment was announced.

According to prosecutors, in December of 2010 through January of 2011, Jurcev led an effort by the Oak Lawn Tax Watch Group to collect signatures for nominating petitions to place a referendum on the ballot that would have asked voters to change the structure of Oak Lawn’s municipal government. Jurcev submitted 132 petition sheets to the Circuit Court of Cook County purportedly containing the signatures of 1,200 registered voters in an effort to place the referendum on the ballot in Oak Lawn’s municipal elections scheduled for April of 2011.

An objection was filed claiming that numerous signatures on the Oak Lawn Tax Watch petitions were fraudulent and numerous voters signed affidavits claiming their signatures had been forged.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office began looking into the allegations and discovered that 85 of the purported 132 petition sheets that were personally notarized by Jurcev were allegedly circulated by her 97-year-old mother in December of 2010 during cold and snowy weather. In addition, dozens of affidavits were filed by registered voters in Oak Lawn whose names appeared on the petitions stating that they had never signed the petitions, never given anyone permission to sign the petition on their behalf, and that the signature that appeared on the petition was not theirs.

The petitions were withdrawn after the allegations surfaced, and ultimately the referendum did not appear on the ballot.

Jurcev pled not guilty to the charges in court this morning where Judge Clayton Crane released her on her own recognizance and continued the case to November 29th. If convicted, Jurcev could face up to three years in prison.

The public is reminded that charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.