Petition circulator says she forged signatures, group calls for expanded probe

Maureen Moss

The woman arrested in Denver Wednesday on 34 felony charges admitted she forged signatures on nominating petitions submitted for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser in an interview with a Denver TV station Wednesday.

“I have forged signatures, yes,” Maureen Moss, 45, told 9News reporter Whitney Wild in a jailhouse interview.

Meanwhile, the left-leaning organization that first brought attention to the possibility Keyser’s petitions contained fraudulent signatures filed a criminal complaint with 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young, who represents Broomfield and Adams County, asking prosecutors there to join the criminal investigation that already spans three counties.

“We ask that you work with the Denver district attorney to ensure any crimes committed by Jon Keyser’s campaign within the jurisdiction of your office are included in the criminal proceeding now underway,” wrote ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin in a letter to Young.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams in May referred a possible forged signature — belonging to a Broomfield woman who died more than two months before the signature drive commenced — on Keyser petitions gathered by Moss to Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.

A spokeswoman for Morrissey said Denver prosecutors haven’t followed up on the lead, and a spokeswoman for Young on Wednesday told The Colorado Statesman that no one had brought the dead woman’s signature to their attention.

Morrissey alleged Moss submitted fraudulent signatures of registered Republicans in Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe counties in charging documents filed Monday.

She was released without bond Thursday and is scheduled to be back in court Monday for a hearing.

Moss told 9News she’d never met Keyser, whose campaign hired a company that contracted the candidate’s petitions to another company, Denver-based Black Diamond Outreach. She said she was homeless when she worked for the company and couldn’t afford to lose her job.

“When your back is up against the wall and you either have to lose your finger or your job, you don’t know what to do,” she said.

Denver police arrested Moss Wednesday on 34 counts of forgery, each punishable by up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. According to court documents, Moss earned a $232 bonus for collecting signatures above a daily quota.

“I appreciate law enforcement acting swiftly to apprehend this woman so justice can be served,” Keyser said in a statement after Moss had been taken into custody.

Keyser is on the June 28 primary ballot along with El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn and businessmen Robert Blaha of Colorado Springs, Ryan Frazier of Aurora and Jack Graham of Fort Collins. The winner will face Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

ernest@coloradostatesman.com               

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