Assembly hopeful sentenced to probation in election fraud case

 Charisse Daniels, who failed in her attempt to get on the ballot to run for state Assembly, pleaded guilty today to one felony count of election fraud for falsifying nomination papers.

She was sentenced to one year of probation by Bennett J. Brantmeier. If she violates her probation, she faces a sentence of $10,000 fine or jail time up to 3 1/2 years.

She will be required to submit a DNA sample and pay any costs.

Daniels, a Democrat, circulated nomination papers last summer to challenge Republican incumbent John Jagler in the 37th Assembly District.

Her interest to run was driven by her involvement in early childhood education issues, and she thought policy could be affected by serving in the state legislature, her attorney told the  court.

Once she got into it, however, she became overwhelmed by the time commitment.

She found herself with the deadline approaching, and made a terrible decision, her attorney said. It’s something that she regrets and takes responsibility for.

Daniels was tossed off the ballot in June after several Watertown residents said they never signed her nomination papers.

Detective Tim Wacker of the Watertown police department made efforts to contact everyone’s name on the papers submitted to Wisconsin’s Election Commission. Of those, 24 people signed affidavits saying they never signed her sheet. Her papers also had the names of two people with the wrong address and another whose home address turned out to be an empty lot.

Daniels was featured on CNN shortly after launching her campaign as hundreds of women nationwide began to break records for the number of females announcing a run this election.

The 37th District includes northeast Dane County, southeast Dodge County and northeast Jefferson County. (MAP)

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