Wanda Geter-Pataky is a Connecticut government employee who is accused of being seen on a video in a Bridgeport, Connecticut, elections case in which “ballot stuffing” is alleged.
According to Connecticut Mirror, the accusations against Geter-Pataky emerged in a hotly contested mayoral election. Candidate John Gomes is challenging the results in the Democratic primary, the news site reported. Gomes posted the video to his Facebook page.
Joe Ganim had been declared the winner by 251 votes, Connecticut Mirror reported.
A Connecticut judge, Superior Court Judge William Clark, threw out the results in the September 12 mayoral primary as a result of the videos, which show possible “ballot stuffing,” according to ABC 7 New York.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wanda Geter-Pataky Is Accused of Being the Woman in a Viral Video Who Walks Forward With a Bag
CT Mirror reported Geter-Pataky is accused of being the woman seen in video clips “placing absentee ballots into a drop box.” She has since been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted CT Mirror reported.
On September 6, 2023, Gomes posted a video to his Facebook page. “Video surveillance proving that the mayoral election was unequivocally stolen through corruption within City Hall by tampering with absentee ballots,” the caption reads. “This is an undeniable act of voter suppression and a huge civil rights violation. It’s time to restore lasting credibility to our city’s democracy. Once and for ALL. Enough is enough!”
The video shows a woman Gomes says is Geter-Pataky walking up to a ballot box with a bag.
“Multiple illegal absentee ballots being deposited into the ballot box” the caption in the video reads, along with the time 5:42 a.m. Then the woman walks away and back with a bag and the time stamp appears of 5:42 a.m. On September 5, 2023, she is accused of making a “third deposit.
She’s then accused of sending another employee to make a fourth deposit while she watched.
“The volume of ballots so mishandled is such that it calls the result of the primary election into serious doubt and leaves the court unable to determine the legitimate result of the primary,” Clark wrote in his ruling, according to ABC 7.
The television station reported that the judge cited statistics showing “abnormally large numbers of absentee ballots were cast in certain voting districts and video evidence showing multiple people shoving stacks of ballots into drop boxes, in violation of state law.”
“The videos are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties,” Clark wrote, according to the television station.
Geter-Pataky’s top three posts on Facebook read simply “It’s 7 p.m.” in a black box. She has posted that over and over again.
2. Wanda Geter-Pataky Is Vice Chair of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee
According to NBC Connecticut, Geter-Pataky is vice chair of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee and a Ganim supporter.
Ganim was previously convicted of corruption, according to ABC 7.
CT Post described her as “a volunteer for Ganim’s reelection effort and has been vice chair of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee for the past four year.”
In a statement on Facebook, Gomes wrote, “Today, Lady Justice fulfilled her duty. She attentively heard the voices of the people of Bridgeport, carefully considered the facts, and impartially applied the law, as justice should always be served.”
He added: “In this moment, we commemorate the significance of this decision by the Honorable Judge William Clark. I’m no stranger to competition or politics, and I understand that in life, we experience both victories and losses. We must continue to show up, give our best, accept the decisions, and move forward with integrity and respect. However, when there is wrongdoing, it must be addressed, and we have shown that in the courtroom.”
3. Wanda Geter-Pataky Exercised Her Right to Remain Silent 71 Times
Geter-Pataky “exercised her right to remain silent multiple times in court concerning the case, including when asked if she’s the person in the video,” NBC Connecticut reported.
Connecticut Mirror reported that Geter-Pataky was questioned for 37 minutes and her attorney “asserted her privilege” to remain silent 71 times.
She wouldn’t even answer a question asking “where her desk is within City Hall,” the site reported.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission is also investigating the accusations, according to ABC 7, adding that lawyers for the city argued in court that the videos don’t prove any illegal ballot stuffing or other activity took place.
4. Wanda Geter-Pataky, Who Grew Up in a Low-Income Housing Project, Has Been a ‘Greeter’ at Bridgeport City Hall for Years
According to CT Post, Geter-Pataky grew up “in the low-income P.T. Barnum apartments.”
Wanda Geter-Pataky “has forged relationships throughout the city over the years, and as the greeter stationed at the front desk, is a familiar face to anyone visiting the downtown government center,” the site reported.
“There’s that saying that, some people, you don’t need a title to be a leader in your community. That’s been Wanda for the majority of her life,” Bridgeport state Rep. Christopher Rosario said to CT Post.
The CT Post reported that Geter-Pataky “was first hired on Feb. 13, 2007 with the city’s Board of Education and her current title is operations specialist.”
She “has become a powerful ally for Democrat-dominated Bridgeport’s politicians and Connecticut Democrats,” the site reported.
5. The Husband of Wanda Geter-Pataky, Who Runs a Bail Bonds Company, Told a Newspaper, ‘Everyone Knows Who She Is’
Bryan Pataky, her husband, “runs an eponymous bail bonds company,” according to CT Post.
He defended her character, according to the newspaper.
“Everyone knows who she is,” Pataky told CT Post. “She’s dedicated to the city of Bridgeport. That’s all I think I need to say.”
Ganim said, according to CT Post: “She has been a strong person within politics. She knows and is very well held in high regard by many people. The Geter family is one of the larger in the city. There’s four, five, six families you know by name.”
Her Facebook page, which is full of family photos, says she works at Pataky Bail Bonds and contains a pro Ganim post.
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