VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Former Rep. Scott Taylor talked with 10 On Your Side about allowing his ex-campaign staffers to petition for an independent candidate to get on the ballot for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District prior to last year’s election.
Those staffers included Lauren Creekmore, who was indicted on two counts of election fraud on Monday by a grand jury.
“I know her [Creekmore] personally. She’s a good person for sure. That being said, I can’t, if there’s any wrongdoing people have to be held accountable,” Taylor said.
Special Prosecutor Donald Caldwell said on or about June 1, 2018, Taylor made the decision to try and get Brown on the ballot as an independent while running for re-election against Elaine Luria.
Caldwell found Brown decided herself to run as an independent for Virginia’s 2nd District. Caldwell said Brown and Taylor did not collude to have Brown run as an independent.
Taylor told 10 On Your Side he regrets allowing staff to petition on Brown’s behalf, but he did not expect or know his staffers forged signatures on the petitions to make that happen as Caldwell alleges.
One such signature is Del. Barry Knight. Knight told investigators and 10 On Your Side he did not sign a petition to get Brown on the ballot.
Taylor said he shouldn’t have authorized petitions on Brown’s behalf, “We made a tactical political decision, a regrettable one I might add. But that was it. In that meeting nothing was described that would be illegal or wrongdoing or hasn’t been done before by Democrats and Republicans.”
Taylor said he fired his consultant and also blames his manager for not making sure signatures his staff gathered on Brown’s behalf were legitimate.
When 10 On Your Side asked Taylor what the motivation may be for forging the signatures, he said he did not know and will not speculate.
Brown is trying to get her conviction overturned for defrauding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s summer food program. She said she did not get a fair trial and is serving her prison sentence.