Dem Staffer Charged With Election Fraud

Marie Beren, a staffer for Dem Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla(D), was charged in a voter fraud scheme that ran from 2015–2019.

On Tuesday, Jennifer Arbittier Williams, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, filed federal charges against 67-year-old South Philadelphia resident Marie Beren, alleging that she participated in a voter fraud scheme from 2015 through 2019 in three voting divisions in South Philadelphia.

Williams charged Beren, a staffer for Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla, with four counts of voter fraud and related offenses, including conspiracy.

According to prosecutors, the conspiracy involved Beren and an individual currently identified in the complaint only as Consultant #1, who is described as a former elected official who “held himself out as an effective and successful political operative capable of ensuring his clients’ electoral success.” (The consultant is reportedly Ozzie Myers, the former Philly pol with a very storied and problematic history.)

That consultant “exercised influence and control in Philadelphia’s 39th Ward by distributing cash payments and supporting family, friends and allies for elective office in the 39th Ward, and installing Ward Leaders, Judges of Elections, and Democratic State Committee,” the complaint alleges.

The feds say the consultant recruited and installed Beren as a committee person for the Democratic Party in South Philadelphia’s 39th Ward in approximately 1984. Four years later, that same consultant recruited Beren to serve as a judge of elections for the 39th Ward’s second division, the judge of elections essentially being the person in charge of a polling place during the primary and general elections. In this case, that polling place was located at the Seafarer’s Union Hall at 4th and Shunk streets. Two other divisions — the 11th and the 16th — vote at that same location. As the feds put it, Beren was the “de facto judge of elections” for all three divisions.

















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