SUFFOLK, VA. (WAVY) — A candidate on the ballot in Suffolk could be disqualified after it came to light that dozens of signatures on the petition were allegedly fake. 

10 On Your Side was at the Suffolk Electoral Board meeting Tuesday. Right now, there are 78 of 225 signatures that are apparently forged. 

The Suffolk Electoral Board will send out notices to the remaining 147 names to see if they are legitimate. Now, the Electoral Board is getting an attorney with the matter likely going to circuit court. 

“I am embarrassed for myself and these people because we were taken advantage of by this person [who sent out and collected and submitted petitions] and I’m sorry,” said Art Bredemeyer who is running for Suffolk Borough.  

Bredemeyer’s campaign worker, Dana Cooper, is accused of forging the signatures to get him on the ballot. 

“I was sick,” said David Miller, one of the victims, who recalled seeing his signature forged.

“I feel bad for him because he didn’t do that,” said Mary Draper whose signature was also forged. “But, it is his responsibility to know the right people are doing the job for him and apparently, they did not.” 

Before the meeting, 10 On Your Side asked those gathered, a show of hands of those whose names were forged raise your hand. 

Almost all of those gathered, about 40 raised their hands. 

The Virginia State Attorney General’s office confirmed the Electoral Board has the power to remove Bredemeyer from the ballot under the current circumstances, and the Virginia Board of Elections apparently told the Board to follow the advice of the AG’s Office. 

“My motion is to join with the registrar in removing Art Bredemeyer from the ballot,” said Suffolk Electoral Board Chairman Brent Rowlands. 

However, Chairman Rowlands got push back from Reverend Isaac Baker who is Secretary of the board.  

“Mr. Chairman, I have been looking at all the processes, and they have not played out,” said Baker. 

“It is premature for us to make a decision until we receive legal counsel,” Vice Chairman Edward Roettger agreed with Rev. Baker.   

At that point, Chairman Rowlands made the motion to oust Bredemeyer from the ballot. 

“Do I have a second? It appears I do not. My motion just died in flames.” 

“I don’t want to be on the ballot illegitimately, and I understand the rules, and I have run before,” said Bredemeyer. 

“It’s good for me to run against somebody, and I’m looking forward to this part of the process being out and getting out and addressing the voter’s concerns,” said John Rector, Bredemeyer’s opponent, who was also at the meeting,  

After the meeting, 10 On Your Side went looking for Bredemeyer’s staffer, Dana Cooper, who swore under oath the names were accurate. 

We went to the home she claimed to be living in Newport News. The person who lived there said she knew Cooper, but Cooper was not living at that home on June 18 as Cooper claimed on the petitions. 

The punishment for falsely signing the affidavit for signatures, as Cooper is accused of doing, is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment of up to ten years.