Embattled Democratic Dutchess County New York Elections Commissioner Fran Knapp pled guilty on Friday to two misdemeanors related to the ballot fraud charges she was facing. Knapp, if you recall, was indicted over the summer on over 90 counts all related to her conduct as an election official.
As part of the plea agreement, Knapp will have to resign her position as commissioner by the end of 2013. Upon her resignation, her deputy commissioner will serve as acting commissioner until the county Democratic Committee can recommend a replacement to the county legislature.
The initial charges against Knapp addressed a number of crimes she allegedly committed during her time as elections commissioner. Knapp was charged with tampering with absentee ballots, forging a signature on a document that was filed with the State Board of Elections, falsifying the results of a 2010 election and illegally signing and filing poll watcher certificates for a Conservative Party candidate to hurt a Republican’s chances.
The always defiant and partisan Knapp blasted the prosecutor in a statement made through her attorney outside the courthouse on Friday. As part of the plea agreement, the grand jury report will be release publicly. While a plea deal is important to remove the corrupt Knapp from office because the Democrat Governor would not do so, it will be interesting to see just how extensive Knapp's criminal activities were.