Former Luzerne County Election Bureau Director Leonard Piazza was placed on paid leave from a similar job in Georgia while state officials investigate allegations of voter fraud in a referendum that failed this week.
Burke Brennan a spokesman for DeKalb County Friday confirmed Piazza was on administrative leave pending an investigation into the vote to make LaVista Hills a city. The ballot measure lost by 136 votes and according to media reports, Piazza said he took steps to attempt to prove fraud.
Piazza could not be reached for comment.
He has been an election supervisor in DeKalb County since June 2014, a year after he filed a federal lawsuit for his termination as head of the Luzerne County Election Bureau in 2012 for alleged abuse of authority. The suit is pending in U.S. District Court for the Middle District Pennsylvania, Scranton.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday Piazza said, “there were serious problems regarding the LaVista vote.”
The newspaper reported Piazza said voters were turned away from polling places and he discovered a loose memory card containing votes from a precinct.
“Piazza said he took the memory card and copied information from DeKalb’s voting tabulation server so that he could try and prove tampering. But those actions aren’t allowed, and he has been placed on paid leave,” newspaper reported.
A statement issued Thursday by the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections said it is cooperating with the office of the Secretary of State that is conducting the investigation. “We remain convinced that once the investigation is complete, the veracity of the November 2015 elections will be confirmed. Until the Secretary of State completes his investigation we have no further comment on this issue,” the statement said.