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West Bend man charged with scribbling on Walker recall petitions

West Bend man charged with scribbling on Walker recall petitions

By Lacey Crisp and Jay Sorgi. CREATED Dec 5, 2011 - UPDATED: Dec 8, 2011

Click on the video link to see an archived version of this story from TODAY'S TMJ4's Lacey Crisp.

WEST BEND - The Washington County District Attorney's office has charged a man from West Bend with election fraud.

Jeffrey Karnitz, 30, faces a charge of falsifying or destroying recall petitions after he allegedly scribbled on petitions involving the recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch Sunday afternoon in West Bend.

Karnitz was booked into the Washington County jail, but was released.
 
From behind a closed door, Karnitz yelled at TODAY'S TMJ4, "I'm not commenting on anything."
 
"Instead of adding his name to the list, he scribbled through names that were already there," said West Bend recall organizer Waring Finke.
 
According to the criminal complaint, a woman was at her home on Elm Street in West Bend, giving people clipboards with recall petitions.
 
The complaint says that a man later identified as Karnitz came up to the woman, and she handed him clipboard recall petitions, including one for Walker and one for Kleefisch.
 
She said in the complaint that she saw Karnitz scribbling, went up to him, and "told him, 'That's a felony,' to which he replied, 'Oh yeah, that's a felony, I'm for Scott Walker.' "
 
He then left the scene, but the woman was able to get his truck's license plate number.  She also gave West Bend Police the petitions, which the complaint says had scribble marks on it.
 
According to the complaint, Karnitz "said he took the petitions for the purpose and intent of crossing out the signatures.  (Karnitz) stated that he figured doing so would screw up the petition."

He then told police "from that point on I kind of kicked myself in the ***."