Ballot fraud retrial begins for McDonough - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Ballot fraud retrial begins for McDonough

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TROY, N.Y. - Attorneys spent the morning Friday at the Rensselaer County Courthouse questioning potential jurors in the retrial of Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough.

There was a set-back Friday morning after one alternate came forward saying they had a connection to the case and could not serve on the jury.

Opening statements began Friday afternoon, with a full jury of 12 and four alternates seated, each side speaking for over an hour.

Special prosecutor Trey Smith was the first up, telling the jury he'd call witnesses that saw McDonough do it and a handwriting expert that would show the signatures on all those ballots are the same - and belong to McDonough.

McDonough's attorney Brian Premo disputed those claims, questioning the motivations of those witnesses who reached deals to talk and even the handwriting expert. One by one he went through those players and explained how it was them, not McDonough.

This is the second trial for McDonough on 38 counts of 2nd-degree Forgery and 36 counts of 2nd-degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, which prosecutors say he used to ensure victory in the 2009 Working Families party primary.

The first trial for McDonough and former City Councilman Michael LoPorto ended in a mistrial on March 13th after eight days of jury deliberations and six weeks of testimony, after which the judge ordered two separate trials.

LoPorto was found not guilty of 22 counts of possessing forged absentee ballots in July.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.



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