Local woman says her name was forged on petition to get candidate for sheriff on November’s ballot.
Less than an hour after publishing Monday’s story that Paul Tyus’ petition to run as an Independent against Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates in November had been turned into county officials, a local woman contacted Beneath the Surface News to say her name had been forged.
The woman, who asked not to be named because she is a local business owner, said she was contacted by Edward Gordon, an investigator with District Attorney Alan Nash’s office.
“The investigator called me last week and asked if I had signed a petition for Paul Tyus. I told him no; that I had no idea who Paul Tyus even was,” she said.
Gordon reportedly said that her signature was dated Aug. 8.
“He emailed me a copy of my signature and it wasn’t even close to the real thing,” she said. “The information also included my address and date of birth. It’s appalling. I was never asked by anyone to sign a petition and I plan to fully cooperate with the investigation.”
When asked for comment, Nash declined to deny or confirm that an active investigation is underway.
But BTS News has learned through another source, that there are more signatures on the petition that are suspected of being forged including names of deceased residents and others who no longer live in Erath County.
There are also rumors swirling that the DA’s office has interviewed a woman who is believed to be connected to Tyus’ campaign.
Running as an Independent candidate in a general election can be difficult.
In order to be placed on the ballot, Tyus was required by the state to get 500 signatures from registered voters who did not vote in either Primary Election or runoff.
The petition had to be submitted to Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos’ office by Aug. 13.
Campos confirmed Monday that his office had received the petition and that it has been turned over to the elections clerk.
Tyus is a former sheriff’s deputy and now manages a ranch.
His decision to run for sheriff a second time came as a surprise to many because he only received 11% of the vote when he ran against Coates in 2018.
But his campaign has been strangely quiet. There are no signs or social media pages promoting his candidacy.
BTS News has also learned that Tyus has reportedly hired an attorney, but a call for comment has not been returned.