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Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for the attorney general, said the law firm did not know exactly how many of the signatures were actually fraudulent. However, Anderson said that for the purposes of prosecuting Verela, the Attorney General is not required to demonstrate that any allegedly fraudulent signature is in fact fraudulent.
Anderson pointed to several people listed on the indictment who have confirmed that they willingly gave her signature to Varela.
Varela could not be reached for comment prior to Friday's press conference, but he previously told the Arizona Daily Sun that he had spoken to investigators and admitted wrongdoing.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson is pursuing the case in Coconino Superior Court, according to a press release.
Varela was eliminated from the mayor's race on July 9 after admitting to reporters that he had forged signatures from voters. Despite abandoning the race, Varela's name still appears on the August ballot paper. The city announced that any votes he received would not be counted as Varela had retired from the race.
"I am not denying these are fraudulent signatures, am not denying it," Varela said at the time. “I got names from Facebook. I have addresses from a phone book. I made up addresses. "
Varela submitted more than 1,000 signatures to the city for his mayoral candidacy. According to an analysis by the Arizona Daily Sun, more than 700 of the addresses in his petition were not registered with the city's address mapping system, which shows registered addresses in the city. Only a handful of addresses that exist in the city are not registered in this system.