Nonaresa Montgomery was found guilty by a jury late today of perjury in a trial in St. Louis Circuit Court in the St. Louis vote fraud trial. She was found not guilty of evidence tampering.
Nonaresa Montgomery, a paid worker who ran Operation Big Vote during the run-up to 2001 mayoral primary, was on trial this week in St. Louis Circuit Court on charges of perjury and tampering with evidence.
Big Vote was part of a national campaign — promoted by Democrats — to register more black voters and get them to vote in the November elections.
Montgomery is accused of hiring about 30 workers to do fraudulent voter-registration canvassing.
They were supposed to have canvassed black neighborhoods and recorded names of potential voters to be contacted later to vote in the Nov. 7 election. And they were paid by the number of cards they filled out.
Instead of knocking on doors, however, they sat down at a fast-food restaurant and wrote out names and information from an outdated voter list.
The charges stem from about 1,500 fraudulent voter registration cards that were turned in to the St. Louis Board of Elections on Feb. 7, 2001, the deadline for registering for the mayoral primary.
Board employees realized that there was a serious problem with some of the cards when they spotted the name of longtime alderman Albert “Red” Villa, who died in 1990.
Apparently Montgomery is not the one who filled out the fake voter registration cards (six Operation Big Vote workers pleaded guilty in December to dozens of election law violations and one still faces charges) but Montgomery failed to tell a local grand jury investigating the case about a meeting , and failed to mention when asked that she had copies of some or all of the voter registrations.
The meeting referred to in the case was in February 2001 where discussion about destroying the fake voter cards to stymie police investigators…
The meeting was at the campaign office of Comptroller Darlene Green.
The probable cause statement says Green attended, and “the idea of burning copies of the registration cards was discussed”.
Also attending: political consultant Pearlie Evans and St. Louis election board official Keena Carter. Carter (Assistant Democratic Election Director ) is now cooperating with investigators.
Darlene Green testified late Wednesday…
Carter, Montgomery and a Democratic Representative Bill Clay operative, Pearlier Evans, all met with Green to discuss the problem of the cards. Green confirmed for the jury today that “it was discussed, what should we do with them”.
Several times, prosecutors had to jog Green’s memory by showing her pages of her testimony before a grand jury. She insisted she had little memory of the meeting, saying, “There’s no way I could remember what was said.”
Under questioning by Montgomery’s defense lawyer, Green’s memory was usually much better, and she was quite cooperative with Herman Jimerson.
After the meeting at Green’s office, the voter cards disappeared, and have never been found.
Montgomery has waived the sentencing hearing and received two years probation.
Judge David Mason added conditions that included community service work in which she would help young people understand how to properly register to vote.
**Here is a video of the court proceedings from the trial.**
Note: The defendent’s lawyer says the accusations are politically motivated yet all of those involved were either Democrat office holders, consultants or operatives. Democrats have dominated the politics in St. Louis City for years. Republicans have not held the mayor’s office since Aloys P. Kaufman held the office from 1943- 1949.