Clean Elections candidate pleads guilty to forgery

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

PHOENIX - A Clean Elections candidate has entered a guilty plea for felony charges related to a falsified application to run for office.

Robert Mark Green, 48, pleaded guilty to felony charges of forgery in Maricopa County Superior Court, admitting he falsified a "Participating Candidate's Application to Receive Funds and Qualifying Contribution Report" that was filed with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission on March 8, 2010.

Green filed the form as part of his campaign for the Republican nomination for state Senate in Legislative District 7.

“Misuse of the state’s public funds and fraud will not be tolerated," Attorney General Tom Horne said. "I thank the Clean Elections Commission and the Secretary of State’s office for their cooperation in this matter.”

Green has agreed to pay a $9,479 fine, repay $11,060.63 in investigation costs and has agreed to not seek funds from the Citizen's Clean Elections Commission while he is on probation.

“The message here is that people who cheat our election system and get caught will pay a serious penalty,” said Todd Lang, executive director of the Clean Elections Commission.

He could serve up to four years of probation and could be ordered to serve two years in jail. His sentencing is on March 8.