For the former top Democrat in Niagara County, allegations of election fraud have been put to rest.

A grand jury has decided not to indict former Democratic Committee Chairwoman Cindy Lenhart on charges that she improperly completed petitions during the 2005 campaign.

“I’m exonerated, I believe, is the word,” said Lenhart, before she lashed out at District Attorney Matthew Murphy III, a fellow Democrat, for pursuing her case.

“I’m really disappointed that the district attorney succumbed to the bullying by the self-righteous zealots running the Republican Party in Niagara County,” Lenhart said.

Murphy said his decision send the case to a grand jury was based on his reading of Lenhart’s testimony in State Supreme Court, in which Lenhart admitted she signed her name as a witness on a petition she did not properly witness.

“I’ve never operated based on political motivations,” Murphy said. “My only responsibility is to make sure the process of review is fair.”

For the district attorney’s office, the case against Lenhart ends with the grand jury’s decision. There is no opportunity to appeal.

Lenhart was accused of signing her name as a notary public and as a witness to signatures she did not actually witness. She was helping William Boulden campaign in Pendleton for county Legislature. Boulden lost his challenge against incumbent Gerald Farnham, a Republican.

She served briefly as the county committee’s chairwoman, stepping down April 5 after seven months on the job.

Trending Video

Recommended for you