Jurcev Receives Probation for Election Fraud
Community activist accused of forging signatures on referendum petition is fined $610 and receives one year's probation in court on Wednesday.
Myrna Jurcev, the community activist indicted last fall on charges that she had forged signatures on election petitions, was given probation during a court hearing on Wednesday, Lauren Fitzpatrick of the Sun-Times reported on Wednesday.
Jurcev, 69, pleaded guilty to a single felony count of mutiliation of election materials, the Sun-Times reported. Cook County Judge Clayton Jay Crane also also fined Jurcev $610.
Jurcev served as chair of Oak Lawn Tax Watch, a watchdog group that tracked how Oak Lawn’s elected officials spent taxpayer dollars. The group gathered signatures for a referendum petition that was submitted for the April 2011 ballot to change the village’s form of government. Hundreds of residents signed affidavits stating that their signatures had been forged, including family members of Village Clerk Jane Quinlan.
According to the criminal complaint, when prosecutors first confronted Jurcev about the fraudulant signatures, she told them that her elderly mother circulated the petitions. Jurcev later changed her story, admitting that she forged voters' signatures as well as her mother's name on the petition.
The tainted petitions touched off nearly a year of turmoil among the Oak Lawn Village Board, including allegations of violations of the Open Meetings Act after two “informational” meetings at Stony Creek Golf Course hosted by a quorum of village trustees.
Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3) termed the alleged conspiracy to commit petition fraud in an attempt to dump the managerial form of local government “serious hardball politics.”
Jurcev could not be reached for comment.