Politics

Former Mass. GOP Politician Jack Villamaino Pleads Guilty To Voter Fraud

| by Sylvan Lane
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Jack Villamaino, a Massachusetts republican politician, recently pleaded guilty to felony charges of stealing absentee ballots and changing the party affiliations of almost 300 residents of East Longmeadow, Mass., during his campaign for a seat in the State Legislature.

Villamaino pleaded guilty to counts including interfering with an election official, forgery of documents, and conspiracy Monday at the Hampden County Hall of Justice in Springfield. He was sentenced to a year in jail, but will only serve four months, with the remaining eight being suspended. Villamaino will also serve one year of probation.

“It’s not exactly the sentence that I had asked for,” said Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni to Springfield’s WGGB-TV. “It’s not exactly the sentence the defense had asked for, so I respect the judge’s decision.”

Villamaino’s attorney, Jeffrey Meehan, sought a shorter sentence of four months for his client, as well as no felony conviction, so the 35 year-old move on from the crime and rebuild his life.

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"My client is a very bright, intelligent young man. He made a terrible mistake and he'll pay for that, and hopefully be able to go on and lead a successful life; obviously not in politics," Meehan told NBC News.

According WGGB:

“Villamaino pleaded guilty…to charges of larceny under $250, interfering with an election official, four counts of forgery of a document, four counts of perjury, and conspiracy to commit an unlawful act.

“He and his wife, Courtney Llewellyn, were charged in 2012 with changing the party affiliations for about 280 East Longmeadow voters. About a month after those changes were made, {Hampden County District Attorney Mark] Mastroianni says that there was an almost ‘name-for-name match’ for those people who had their enrollment changed from ‘Democrat’ to ‘Unenrolled.’”

“I know that the defense attorney said that no one was harmed physically, there were no guns or drugs involved — and all that’s true — but my signature is something that I’ve worked on since I was a little girl and it’s very important to me,” said Patricia Ryan, an East Longmeadow voter who had her party affiliation changed by Villamaino, to WGGB.

Sources: NBC News, WGGB-TV