MINEOLA - A petition that put congressional candidate Tom Suozzi on the ballot for Rep. Steve Israel's seat included forged signatures, some of whom are from deceased residents.
Suozzi needed 3,500 signatures in order to run under the "Fix Washington" party line – in addition to the Democratic Party.
Umberto Mignardi, who works for Republican state Sen. Jack Martins' office, says his name was on the opponent's petition, and he wasn't the one who signed it. Martins is also vying for Rep. Israel's seat.
"It's bad enough you have to protect yourself from criminals who want to steal your identity. Now you have to protect yourself from politicians who want to hijack your identity," says Mignardi.
Suozzi says he thinks a young volunteer on his campaign might be the source of the forged signatures. He says there were more than 70 people out collecting signatures for his campaign.
"It's wrong and that kid will never work for us again," says Suozzi. "But even if you didn't include all of his signatures because he did something wrong, we still have over 5,000 signatures."
Martins' campaign has filed with the Board of Elections to get the "Fix Washington" party line disqualified.