Former McCotter Aides Ordered To Stand Trial

LIVONIA (WWJ/AP) – Michigan’s attorney general called it a “mess” and a “fiasco,” and now a judge has ordered two men who worked for a Detroit-area congressman to stand trial in a campaign scandal.

Paul Seewald and Don Yowchuang are charged with conspiring to get then-U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter on the ballot with bogus petitions. Yowchuang also is charged with forgery, and both men also face misdemeanors.

The attorney general’s office said Livonia Judge Sean Kavanagh announced the decision Tuesday after hearing testimony earlier this month. A Circuit Court arraignment is Nov. 6.

Officials say McCotter’s staff turned in less than the 1,000 valid signatures needed to get on the August primary ballot. Some petitions were photocopied and cut and pasted from previous years.

McCotter, who hasn’t been charged, testified it was “shocking” to learn that he didn’t have enough petition signatures to qualify for the 2012 election.

There’s no evidence the Livonia Republican was aware of the alleged scheme, although Attorney General Bill Schuette said McCotter was clearly “asleep at the switch.”

The petition scandal knocked McCotter off the ballot and led to his resignation on July 6.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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