United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced today that former U.S. Congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers, 79, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records, and conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election for orchestrating schemes to fraudulently stuff the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Pennsylvania elections.
39th Ward, 36th Division
Specifically, Myers admitted in court to bribing the Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division in South Philadelphia, Domenick J. Demuro, in a fraudulent scheme over several years. Demuro, who was charged separately and pleaded guilty in May 2020, was responsible for overseeing the entire election process and all voter activities of his Division in accord with federal and state election laws.
The voting machines at each polling station, including in the 39th Ward, 36th Division, generate records in the form of a printed receipt documenting the use of each voting machine. This printed receipt, also known as the “results receipt,” shows the vote totals, and the Judge of Elections and other Election Board Officials at each polling place attest to the accuracy of machine results.
Myers admitted to bribing Demuro to illegally add votes for certain candidates of their mutual political party in primary elections. 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. 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 Demuro and others to tamper with election results.
After receiving payments ranging from between $300 to $5,000 per election from Myers, Demuro would add fraudulent votes on the voting machine – also known as “ringing up” votes – for Myers’ clients and preferred candidates, thereby diluting the value of ballots cast by actual voters. At Myers’ direction, Demuro would add these fraudulent votes to the totals during Election Day, and then would later falsely certify that the voting machine results were accurate. Myers is also accused of directing Demuro to lie to investigators about the circumstances of the bribes and the ballot-stuffing scheme.