The Examiner

Challenger in Mt. Pleasant Supervisor’s Race Charged With Forgery

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Anthony D'Aria
Anthony D’Aria

The challenger in the Nov. 5 Mount Pleasant supervisor’s race was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly attesting to five forged signatures on a petition carried  for his running mate’s campaign manager during the summer.

Anthony D’Aria, 46, who is running on the independent We the People line against Republican incumbent Joan Maybury, was charged with five felony counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.

D’Aria, the CEO of a Briarcliff Manor investment firm, verified the validity of the signatures on the opportunity to ballot petition for Frank Morganthaler, a write-in candidate for district leader in the Sept. 10 Republican primary for the town’s 28th Election District, authorities said. The signatures were filed with the Westchester County Board of Elections.

Morganthaler is the campaign manager for John Casario, who is running for town board and shares the We the People line with D’Aria.

The district attorney’s office stated that on July 18 D’Aria attested to the signatures of five priests from the Legionaries of Christ, a congregation of Roman Catholic priests on Columbus Avenue in Thornwood. However, a district attorney investigation revealed that the priests, who all had lived at the site at one time, were out of state, and in one case, out of the country on that date, the district attorney said.

“In a democracy we have an expectation that the results of an election are the will of the people,” District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a Wednesday afternoon statement. “When someone tampers with that system, as in this case by attesting to forged ballot signatures, a fundamental democratic process is breached. These kinds of actions are not politics. They are criminal and they will be prosecuted.”

D’Aria’s campaign manager, Andre Turcot, issued a brief statement suggesting that the accusation was fabricated in retaliation for D’Aria challenging Maybury in the upcoming election. He added that the episode will make the challenger more determined to win on Election Day.

“Anthony denies any wrongdoing and this is a flagrant attempt to derail his candidacy and the work he is doing for the election to change the politics of Mount Pleasant,” Turcot said.

He said Wednesday afternoon the candidate is conferring with his attorney and will address the allegations at the appropriate time.

D’Aria was released on his own recognizance and is due back in Mount Pleasant Town Court on Thursday.

He faces up to seven years in jail if convicted of the charges.








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