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Exclusive: Team Suttle Claims New Proof of Recall Fraud, Asks Phipps to Stop

By   /   December 4, 2010  /   News  /   18 Comments

UPDATE: Nebraska Watchdog Obtains Deposition (updated information in red below)

Supporters of Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle are claiming they have new and compelling evidence of fraud in the recall petition drive against the Mayor.

According to an e-mail obtained by Nebraska Watchdog, Suttle’s lawyer Vince Powers has received last minute sworn testimony and other information that “suggests a conspiracy to violate Nebraska law.”

The e-mail was sent to Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps from Forward Omaha’s Gary DiSilvestro. DiSilvestro asks Phipps, who has scheduled a 2 p.m. Saturday news conference to announce the results of the petition drive, not to release any numbers. Contacted by Nebraska Watchdog, Phipps says he’s seen no information that would lead him to delay the announcement.

The e-mail states that during a Friday deposition, paid petitioner Juan Baca testified “he was hired at $10 an hour, but then was told he had to collect 10 signatures an hour to get his $10 an hour.”

Late this morning Nebraska Watchdog obtained a copy of the deposition. In addition to the information stated in the e-mail the deposition also finds Juan Baca promising to release his personal calendar which he says includes the days and times he was out gathering signatures. Also according to the deposition, during cross examination by the Recall Committee’s lawyer, Baca testified that he could not provide written proof that anyone told him he would be paid per signature. In the deposition Baca states, “I ain’t got nothing in writing.”

Jeremy Aspen, a spokesman for the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee indicated to Nebraska Watchdog that Baca’s claim of being paid per signature is outrageous. According to Aspen, “No one was picking up 10 signatures an hour.” 

The e-mail goes on to say that Baca’s brother, Cirilo, told Powers “that there was in fact a pay-for-signature scheme placed into effect by an out-of state operative of the Recall campaign.”

In addition DiSilvestro says they have a skilled handwriting expert who “continues to find evidence of discrepancies in hand writing on petitions.”

Earlier this week following a court hearing where Powers tried, unsuccessfully for now, to delay the recall process, Aspen said there was “no fraud” whatsoever. At that hearing Powers released five undercover videos and told the judge they clearly indicate fraud. 

The recallers need at least 26,643 valid names to force a possible recall election.

Reported by Joe Jordan, joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here


Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Bell-View

    Commissioner Dave Phipps has an obligation under law and a duty to the office to complete the counting/verification process within the specified time frame and to report the results.

    Mayor Pothole’s friends want to turn this into another 2000 Florida election fiasco–they need to save their complaints for the hearing in court.

    Speaking of potholes…have all of them been fixed yet??

  • OFD & Proud

    Another part of evidence that there is a conspiracy against our Mayor by Republican tricksters who resort to illegal tactics to remove a politician who was elected by the citzens. Stop the bashing of Mr. Suttle and stop the underhanded tactics to attempt to remove him from office. He is OUR MAYOR and WE ELECTED him. Let him do his job!!

  • tdanny

    If phipps holds off disclosing the count he would be subjec to a claim that he failed to fufill his legal duty. Tthen the anti-recall groups could ask the court to declare the recall null and v oid. Just do your job mr. Phipps.

  • FarmerRick

    Yeah, the OPD and OFD paid to have Suttle elected…”fair and square”. You mean Repubs. stop using the lawful recall process, just leave Diamond Jim alone!!! Whine, whine, whimper, whimper….

    Too funny how the unions are still trying to defend this incompetent fool.

  • In a few years the omaha mayor will say “remember when Fahey said we wouldn’t have to raise taxes for the new stadium? well, uh, things have changed….we will need more money to support the college kids playing stickball 2 weeks out of the year now.”

    You 20 somethings who own nothing and are wearing your hats backward better start getting involved.

  • Henry

    Interesting how people who didn’t bother to vote and who live outside of Omaha have to resort to paid workers to marshall a “groundswell” of support for a recall. Recalls should be for clear violations of law or the public trust, malfeasance or nonfeasance. You can tell how deep the recallers are thinking when all they can muster is some name-calling and blaming the mayor for a city-council imposed restaurant tax.


  • The Truth

    Oh how you anti-Suttle people rear your ugly heads at the most unusual times.

    Let Mayor Suttle do his elected job and you Democrat hating Republicans need to cower in your caves, lick your wounds, and just plain suck it up.

  • Update

    UPDATE: I Find Aspen Outrageous.

  • Matt

    Mayor Suttle is the mayor. He was legally elected, and to my knowledge has committed no crimes. He may be stupid, idiotic, and incompetent, but the voters made an informed choice in electing him, and now they should suffer the consequences of not having elected Hal Daub. The voters AFFIRMED they wanted the public safety unions to own, control, and if so inclined, bankrupt the City of Omaha. The VOTERS made that decision, so too bad. Live with it. The fire union won the keys to the kingdom by getting the voters to allow it.

  • Matt

    Henry: The Unicameral was created by paid petition circulators. Could not the mayor have VETOED the restaurant tax? Of course he could have. Only problem is that it was his idea… so being intellectually honest here, the City Council didn’t create it.

    The Truth: There are LOTS of Democrats who would like Suttle out, and are embarrassed by him. The Mayor is elected on a non-partisan ticket as is the paid-petition circulator created Unicameral.

  • Brad

    Yea Matt keys to the kingdom. That’s why the firefighters have not had a contract in over 3 years. Your statement makes no sense.

  • Icon

    Just 1 question; What has Suttle done in his 2 years in office beside screwing up traffic, wasting $$$$, painting bike lanes around town for the 50 or so people that commute by bike in Omaha? I mean, is this guy a total loser or what??? I went to his site & there is nothing there other then BS!!! I mean, like where is the Grand Plan or even a Petit Mal Plan????????

  • Rich

    All I have to say is this is just more reason Suttle needs to go. Sad.

  • Rob

    Brad – the lack of an OFD contract means you operate under the previous overly generous one. If I were OFD, I would want to keep the status quo. But since I am a taxpayer, I do not. CIR reform now leaving the station, all aboard!!!!

  • OFD & Proud

    I urge everyone to go out and support OUR MAYOR and trample down these damn Republicans who think they own this city!!!

  • OFD & Proud

    Stop the insanity and let’s all backup our ELECTED MAYOR!!!

  • PBL

    To OFD &Proud – it wasn’t just “damn Republicans” who signed the recall petition! Quote from the OWH: “The unhappiness was everywhere. The signatures to force a recall election against Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle came from residents across the city. More than half live west of 72nd Street, and a big share live in eastern Omaha. Nearly half were Republicans and about a third were Democrats.” May be some were OFD; even tho’ only about half of the OFD live in the City! Are you sure it’s not the union that thinks they own the City?

  • Rob

    Once Suttle is gone, we really need to vote for someone who truely believes in CIR reform. That or bankrupcy are the only two ways the City will get out from underneath the OPD and OFD contracts. They are crushing the city.