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Former Sheriff candidate pleads guilty to forging signatures

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Angela Gumbarevic was a popular name last fall as she made a run for Oneida County Sheriff, but on Monday, the Sheriff's Department Corrections Officer pleaded guilty to forging some of the signatures needed to get on the ballot in the first place.

Gumbarevic pleaded guilty to one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Bernard Hyman says Gumbarevic forged five signatures on her election papers, knowing that she forged them herself, she still handed them into to the board of elections.

Gumbarevic lost the sheriff's race to now Sheriff Robert Maciol. Oneida County Undersheriff Robert Swenszkowski says an internal investigation is underway to determine the future employment status of Gumbarevic with the department. She is currently suspended without pay.

Gumbarevic, meanwhile, said she had no comment for us after Monday's proceeding.

Hyman says the forging of signatures was an act of desperation by Gumbaravic who may have run just out of time to get the needed signatures.

A second woman was also in court Monday, facing the same charges. Heidi Bessette, a friend of Gumbaravic's who helped her get signatures, is also facing criminal possession of forged instrument.

Bessette turned down the same plea offer given to Gumbarevic of only serving probation and community service, instead she faces a possible seven years in state prison if convicted.

Gumberavic is expected to be sentenced to five years probation and community service when she is due back in court on May 24.

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