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Crime & Courts

Lisle woman charged with forging signatures to run as COD board candidate

Rafath Waheed charged with forgery, perjury

A Lisle woman has been charged with submitting forged signatures in an attempt to run for the College of DuPage Board of Trustees.

On March 14, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Rafath Waheed, 61, of the 6100 block of Hickory Drive. On March 15, Waheed turned herself in to authorities and was released after posting the necessary $1,000, or 10 percent, of her $10,000 bond, according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

Waheed is charged with two felony counts of forgery, two felony counts of issuing a forged document and four felony counts of perjury. Prosecutors allege that prior to Dec. 19, 2016, Waheed collected signatures on petitions for her to apply as a candidate for the COD Board of Trustees and at some point in time, made photocopies of two completed signature portions of the petitions and then completed the candidate information by hand.

Prosecutors allege that she notarized those petitions as authentic and filed the petitions, along with the originals, with the proper COD authorities. Her alleged scheme was uncovered during a hearing on an objection that was filed against her petitions.

In January, the COD Electoral Board accepted the withdrawal of candidate Waheed from the April 4 ballot.The board also ruled that Board of Trustees candidate Husna Ghani should not be on the ballot because her nominating petition contained fatal flaws.

“The bedrock of our entire system of government is free and fair elections,” DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “It is alleged that Mrs. Waheed, in an effort to win a seat on the COD Board of Trustees, attempted to circumvent one of the basic requirements for candidacy – filing petitions with the correct number of authentic signatures."

Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 12 in front of DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan.

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