Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

Last week, a former Democrat Congressman and Philadelphia political operative was sentenced to 30 months in prison for election fraud.

“United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced today that former U.S. Congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers, 79, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 30 months in prison,” an FBI press release read, adding that Romero also received, “three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $100,000 in fines, with $10,000 of that due immediately.”

Myers pleaded “guilty to conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records, conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election, and for orchestrating schemes to fraudulently stuff the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Pennsylvania elections. The defendant was immediately remanded into custody following today’s hearing.”

The Democrat served in the House of Representatives from 1976 to 1980 and was expelled from office following charges of bribery that led to three years in prison, according to Fox News.

“In June 2022, the defendant admitted in court to bribing the Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division in South Philadelphia in a fraudulent scheme over several years,” the FBI said. “Myers admitted to bribing the election official to illegally add votes for certain candidates of their mutual political party in primary elections.”

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“Some of these candidates were individuals running for judicial office whose campaigns had hired Myers, and others were candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices that Myers favored for a variety of reasons,” the press release explained. “Myers would solicit payments from his clients in the form of cash or checks as ‘consulting fees,’ and then use portions of these funds to pay election officials to tamper with election results.”

In addition to bribing a judge in the 39th ward, 2nd Division in South Philadelphia with Myers’ accomplice running, “the polling places in her division by installing close associates to serve as members of the Board of Elections.”

“Myers admitted that he gave his accomplice directions to add votes to candidates supported by him, including candidates for judicial office whose campaigns actually hired Myers,” the FBI explained, adding that federal, state, and local officials were aided by Myers’ actions.

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“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in process,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “This defendant used his position, knowledge of the process, and connections to fix elections for his preferred candidates, which demonstrates a truly flagrant disregard for the laws which govern our elections. He will now spend 30 months in prison as penalty for his crimes.”

“Protecting the legitimacy of elections is critical to ensuring the public’s trust in the process,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “Through his actions, Ozzie Myers pointedly disdained both the will of Philadelphia voters and the rule of law. He’s now a federal felon twice over, heading back behind bars, with time to consider the great consequence of free and fair elections.”  

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