Butch Morgan (right) // WSBT-TV Photo

Butch Morgan (right) // WSBT-TV Photo (June 17, 2013)

Today we are expecting to learn the punishments of the former head of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party and three others, found guilty of forging signatures on petitions for Indiana's primary election in 2008. And this case is grabbing some national attention. Yesterday Fox News aired a segment in which the head of the St. Joseph County GOP claimed there was a "culture of corruption" in Indiana's Democratic Party.

Nearly 5 years after it happened, and two years after it was uncovered, sentencing will be handed down for the former head of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party, Butch Morgan, former party worker Dustin Blythe and two co-defendants.

Morgan and Blythe were both found guilty of forging signatures on petitions for Indiana's primary election in 2008.

Beverly Shelton and Pam Brunette, who were associated with voter registration, pleaded guilty in an attempt to avoid jail-time.

In April, a jury convicted Morgan on 4 counts and Blythe on 10 counts. Shelton and Brunette testified during their trial. The four were accused of conspiring to forge signatures on petitions to get Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Indiana's 2008 primary ballot.

In 2011, our news partners at the South Bend Tribune reported that without the suspected fake signatures, it's likely Obama and possibly Clinton would not have had enough signatures to be on the state's primary ballot.

Blythe is facing up to 10 years behind bars – Morgan 8.

Their Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon in St. Joseph County Court in South Bend.

This case is grabbing some national attention. On Sunday Fox News aired a segment previewing today's sentencing.

The executive director of the St. Joseph County GOP, Jake Teshka, spoke to Fox News about the response from local Republicans to this case.

Teshka made a very large accusation to Fox News, saying the fraud "Isn't an isolated incident"   

“This isn’t an isolated incident,” said Teshka. “In Indiana, we are seeing many cases stemming from the 2008 election including a case in Jennings County where a former staffer for Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly was convicted after voting other people’s absentee ballots. The problem is systemic and the case here in Saint Joseph County is merely a symptom of a broader culture of corruption that Democrats in Indiana have cultivated for decades.

State Senator and St. Joseph County Democratic Party Chairman John Broden released a statement that the county's Democratic Party has “Taken many steps to ensure that an incident of this sort never happens again."

That reportedly includes cross-checking a voter's actual signature on-file.


Stay with WSBT News on air and online as we update you on the sentencing.