Update: Ethics Watchdog Files Complaint Against Maryland Notary Public Over Improper Practices
Updated: Jul 15, 2019
Washington, D.C.— July 15, 2019 —Today, FACT sent a letter with additional evidence to the Maryland Secretary of State, which you can read here.
Washington, D.C.— July 8, 2019 —The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), has filed a complaint today with the Maryland Office of the Secretary of State asking for an investigation related to the Foundation for Moral Law (FML), a non-profit organization founded by current Alabama Senate candidate, Roy Moore. Numerous documents publicly filed by FML appear to contain irregularities with their execution and notarization, and all of which were purported to be notarized by the same Maryland notary, Shallon Nadeau Hartke.
FACT's complaint cites three separate instances of irregularities: seven separate FML documents signed on the same day each included the signature of FML's Chief Financial Officer that was misspelled and notarized, another document was notarized without being signed, and several documents contained signatures that appear not to be authentic based on radically stylistic differences compared to other previously signed publicly available documents.
“Notaries public are officers of the State and therefore must be held to the same high standards of public trust as other appointed and elected State officials. The legal system relies on notarized documents being valid,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). “It should be investigated immediately to determine whether these documents were valid,” Arnold added.
FACT requested that the Maryland Office of Secretary of State investigate the irregularities in the execution and notarization of the documents and if appropriate, impose any necessary penalties on any individuals involved in the misconduct, including removing Hartke from her office of notary public.
A full copy of the complaint can be read here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/.