Suit Seeks Lifetime Ban On 2 Chesco Commissioners — Chesco resident William R. Borton, Sept. 11, filed a petition for declaratory judgement in the county’s Common Pleas Court that Chester County commissioners Marian Moskowitz and Joshua Maxwell be forever banned from holding public office in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Moskowitz and Maxwell in their role as members of the Board of Elections certified the Nov. 8, 2022 election while petitions for recounts were outstanding, says Borton in his filing.
Judge Jeffrey Sommer scheduled a hearing, Nov. 21, and the Election Board was immediately informed via a hand-delivered copy of the order.
Election law expressly states that boards of elections may not certify while recount petitions are pending.
Ms. Moskowitz and Maxwell filed a request on Nov. 23 asking the court to dismiss the petitions but Sommer scheduled a hearing on Dec. 5.
Regardless, the board certified the election on Nov. 28 despite Commissioner Michelle Kichline’s vehement dissent out of concern that it would be a violation of election law.
Her dissent can be seen here starting at 1:08:20
Borton, in his filing says a recount could have been done in a day.
Sommer dismissed the recount request on Dec. 12, and those seeking them appealed to Commonwealth Court, which overturned Sommer’s decision.
Ms. Moskowitz and Maxwell then appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which vacated the Commonwealth Court decision without a hearing.
Justices Sallie Updyke Mundy and P. Kevin Brobson dissented. Justice Mundy noted that the action of the court broke with its traditional process.
Borton wants the lifetime ban based on Section 1851 of the state election code which provides that Any person who shall, while a candidate for office, be guilty of bribery, fraud or willful violation of any provision of this act, shall be forever disqualified from holding said office or any other office of trust or profit in this Commonwealth.
This should especially apply to members of election boards, he says.
Ms. Moskowitz and Maxwell are seeking re-election this November.
The docket number is 2023-067732-M.