Charges against Paul Tyus dropped as investigation into election fraud expands.


By SARA VANDEN BERGE


Charges against a man accused of forging signatures on a petition to get his name on an election ballot have been dropped by District Attorney Alan Nash as the scope of the ongoing investigation expands.


Nash would not comment on the case, but Beneath the Surface News has obtained the most recent court documents.

In May, Nash filed to dismiss charges of fraudulent use of identifying information, a first-degree felony, and tampering with a government document, a state jail felony, against Paul Tyus.


But the investigation is far from over.

The documents state that Tyus and his attorney have provided additional information to the district attorney’s office about others who might be involved.


“The defendant (Tyus), through counsel, has provided information which has justified and necessitated the expansion of the scope of the criminal investigation into the criminal acts described in the complaint, specifically, relating to identification of perpetrators and parties to the unlawful activity,” the document states.

THE BACK STORY


Tyus was arrested last year after he was accused of forging dozens of signatures of Erath County voters on a petition to get his name listed as an Independent candidate for sheriff.


The official complaint states that the investigation began after Erath County Tax Assessor Jennifer Carey noticed irregularities on the petition, including signatures of two deceased residents.

“In addition to the two deceased persons whose names were on the petition, of the first 63 persons interviewed by Investigator Edward Gordon, 56 verified that the signatures purporting to belong to them were forgeries,” the complaint states.


It goes on to state that voter registrar Lana Stevens and her staff also noticed dozens of signatures that appeared to have been written by the same person with some including incorrect birth dates.

The suspicious signatures were then compared to a digital image of the online voter registration card which includes the authentic signatures of registered voters.

“Numerous signatures on the petition appear to vary noticeably from the signatures on file,” the complaint states.

The 58-page petition includes Paul Tyus’ signature at the end of each page swearing that he witnessed every signature and verifying that the information on the petition was correct.


Beneath the Surface News was contacted by several local residents who say their names appeared on the petition, despite the fact that they were never asked to sign it.


Tyus is being represented by local attorney Bob Glasgow. A call to his office for comment has not been returned.