By Joe Jordan
Accused of bribing and coercing voters a 51-year-old Omaha woman tells Nebraska Watchdog she’s being made the fall-guy in the fall-out from the unsuccessful attempt to recall Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle.
Only Nebraska Watchdog was with Cheryl Wheeler at her far north side home (see exclusive video below) this morning when she was ticketed in connection with “Operation Homeless Vote”, a scheme which found the Suttle campaign picking up folks who were down-and-out and busing them to the election office where they could register and vote. Suttle’s opponents suspected the homeless were illegally paid $5.00 for each vote. If convicted Wheeler is facing up to six months in jail and a $1,100 fine.
Wheeler insists she did nothing wrong; didn’t bribe anyone and didn’t tell anyone how to vote.
At the same time another woman who worked for the anti-Suttle recallers is also facing charges, charges that could land her in prison for up to five years.
23-year-old Keosha Slaughter is accused of forging several names on a petition, which is a felony. According to information obtained by Nebraska Watchdog this is the second time Slaughter has been accused of a bogus name game. Omaha police records indicate she was arrested for forgery in 2001 but the charges were dropped after she completed a diversion program.
Wheeler, who is due in court next month, tells Nebraska Watchdog she can’t afford an attorney and wants to know why the Suttle campaign, known as Forward Omaha, which paid her nearly $250 for three days work, isn’t stepping up to help her.
Representatives of the Mayor and his campaign were not immediately available for comment.