CHICAGO – A state lawmaker who didn't live in the district she represents was found guilty of using fake addresses on re-election paperwork and voter registration cards, and must resign.
Rep. Patricia Bailey was found guilty Tuesday of election fraud and perjury after a one-day trial.
"You never had a heat, electric, a telephone, a cable bill," Cook County Judge Diane Gordon-Cannon told the Chicago Democrat. "You never lived for 30 minutes inside your district."
Bailey, 52, first elected in 2002, faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Dec. 21. She wouldn't comment as she left the courtroom.
State law requires her to give up her 6th District House seat on Chicago's South Side, but prosecutors were working to determine whether she had to do so immediately or could wait until she was sentenced.
Bailey also will have to leave her job as a Cook County probation officer. She will be ineligible to hold a government job for five years after her sentence is completed.
Bailey testified that she had been a victim of identity theft and repeated miscommunication about her residence, saying she had intended to move to an address she provided to the state when she filed for re-election.
Robert Sawicki, an assistant executive director of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, outlined six voter registration documents with various addresses Bailey had filed — some just a few days apart — since she first registered to vote in 1995.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan called Bailey's actions "a serious breach of the public trust" and said those who "voted for or considered voting for Ms. Bailey believed that she lived in the 6th District. The fact that she did not is unethical and illegal."