Indiana Democratic Party Forces Party Official Out Over Petition-Forging Flap

It looks like the Indiana Democratic Party has selected a fall guy for the petition-forging scandal that has raised serious questions about the legality of the 2008 Indiana Democratic presidential primary. A South Bend Tribune/Howey Politics investigation uncovered evidence that dozens, if not hundreds, of names had been forged on the 2008 petitions filed by the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the 2nd congressional district. According to the findings of the investigation, without the forged signatures, Obama would have lacked a sufficient number of signatures to have been a candidate in Indiana's 2008 Democratic primary. State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker released a statement to the media this evening saying that St. Joseph Co. Democratic Chairman Butch Morgan has resigned. That seem to come as news to Morgan's attorney according to the South Bend Tribune. Parker issued this statement to the media:

"The Indiana Democratic Party has been notified of Butch’s resignation. We continue to support the ongoing investigation to determine how this isolated incident occurred and hold anyone involved accountable.
"On a personal note, I have known Butch for nearly two decades, and I want to thank him for his longstanding commitment to the Democratic Party, its candidates, his community and our State."
Morgan's attorney, Shaw Friedman, told the Tribune that Morgan was only considering taking a leave of absence from his party positions. "As of this hour, no resignation letter has been submitted," Morgan's attorney, Shaw Friedman, wrote in an e-mail to The Tribune. "He is considering taking a leave of absence while this matter is under review, but there has been no resignation letter submitted." According to a report in yesterday's Tribune, a forensic document expert had determined that the signature of a long-time Democratic volunteer, Dustin Blythe, matched the signature on some of the forged Obama petitions. Party officials later appointed Blythe to a position in the St. Joseph Co. voter registration office. It should be observed that Parker released his statement to WISH-TV's Jim Shella, who is pretty much a stooge for the Indiana Democratic Party. Shella didn't bother to confirm with Morgan whether he had actually resigned as the South Bend Tribune did.

UPDATE: Message delivered? Morgan released a statement to the South Bend Tribune resigning late last night after the State Democratic Party Chairman beat him to the punch by announcing it for him:

"I regret having to resign and hope no one will misinterpret the reasons for my resignation," he said in a written statement. "I have done nothing wrong and I look forward to an investigation that will exonerate me of any wrongdoing.
"It has been an honor for me to have served in these capacities," he continued. "I have worked hard to elect outstanding men and women to public office.
"In the midst of recent controversy," he concluded, "it is best that I not be a distraction to the efforts of candidates who are running for office in the current municipal elections."

The Tribune relates how the resignation flap unfolded:

He issued his statement Monday night after several confusing hours during which state Democrats were reporting his resignation and his attorney, Shaw Friedman, was saying Morgan was merely considering a leave of absence.
Indiana Democratic Chairman Dan Parker said in a news release at 6:15 p.m. that the party had been notified of Morgan's resignation.
The Tribune then contacted Friedman, who said Morgan had not resigned.
"He is considering taking a leave of absence while this matter is under review," Friedman wrote in an e-mail, "but there has been no resignation letter submitted."
The state Democrats responded by producing an e-mail supposedly from Morgan with the label "Media Release" written above Monday's date. The statement said Morgan had stepped down at 6 p.m.
Friedman looked at the statement and said it appeared to be a draft put together by a local party volunteer, but it was not supposed to be released. He reiterated that Morgan had not resigned.
Finally, about 10 p.m., Morgan released a genuine statement that he had decided to resign after local party leaders and friends had asked him to consider various options, including a leave of absence.

Yeah, message delivered, Butch, You're taking the fall for this one whether you want to or not.