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Councilman Accused of Illegality on Signatures for Candidate in Tustin

Times Staff Writer

The brother of a Tustin City Council candidate filed a complaint with the Orange County district attorney’s office Wednesday, charging that Councilman Donald J. Saltarelli acted illegally in collecting signatures for a petition in support of candidate Ronald H. White.

In order for a candidate to run for the council’s election April 8, at least 20 and not more than 30 valid signatures of registered city voters must be collected by one person, City Clerk Mary E. Wynn said. Nine candidates are competing for two seats. One seat is occupied by Councilwoman Ursula E. Kennedy, who is up for reelection; the other belongs to Mayor Frank H. Greinke, who has decided not to seek reelection.

Tom Kelly, brother of candidate John Kelly, said Saltarelli committed perjury when he signed as the person who circulated the petition for White. Tom Kelly said he has obtained a tape-recorded statement by a petition-signer who claimed that Saltarelli did not collect that person’s signature. Tom Kelly said Saltarelli only collected 18 of the 30 signatures on the petition.

Matter Under Review

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Deputy Dist. Atty. Maurice L. Evans said: “We are reviewing the matter to determine any possible criminal violation.”

Saltarelli said Wednesday that he not filed the petition fraudulently. “I did everything legally,” he said. “He (John Kelly) is just looking to get some free publicity at the last minute.” Saltarelli said that he would refer the matter to his attorney.

Another incident, this one involving council candidate Jim Scott, is under investigation by the district attorney’s office, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Carl W. Armbrust. According to Tustin Police Capt. Steve Foster, Scott was stopped last month for a traffic violation and produced a driver’s license under the name E.H. Winchester Jr.

Tustin Police Chief Charles Thayer said the case has been referred to the district attorney’s office because “it appears that it could be a violation of the law.” Armbrust said his office is investigating the matter.

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Neither Scott nor his attorney, Stephen D. Johnson, who is also running for the council in Tustin, have been available for comment.


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