Perhaps former representative John Kromko should have never been able to run for office in the 2008 election. The man who once served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1976 to 1990 admitted that he forged 29 names on a petition that may have qualified him to run for the House seat in 2008. Now at the age of 70, The Arizona Daily Star reports that Kromko will not be able to run for public office for at least five years because of the plea agreement that was made in the case.
Kromko initially faced several felony charges over the incident, which included identity theft, forgery and fraud. Yet a plea agreement allowed the politician to plead guilty to just one misdemeanor count of forgery and one felony count of fraud. The fraud conviction will be knocked down to a misdemeanor conviction upon the completion of probation.
In this case, Kromko is certainly facing a stiffer punishment than being barred from running for office for a certain period of time. A Pima County Superior Court judge placed Kromko on two years of supervised probation earlier this week and also ordered him to complete 100 hours of community service. Some might say that he was lucky to avoid imprisonment.
Even forging a few signatures can lead to time in jail. The crime of forgery is defined in a broad way, but always requires the underlying intent to defraud, based on knowledge of the false nature of the act. More information about forgery and fraud crimes can be found through our Related Resource pages.