A special prosecutor has been appointed for the investigation of suspected forgery on designating petitions in the 2016 election for Yates County Judge.

Seneca County Judge Dennis Bender has appointed attorney Joseph L. Lucchesi, a partner in the firm of Mangano, Lucchesi & Collins of Seneca Falls and Syracuse, to investigate signatures witnessed by Patrick Galvin on Republican and Conservative Party petitions for candidate Valerie Gardner, Yates County’s District Attorney. Upon learning of the allegations, Gardner filed the complaint, asking for the investigation and the appointment of a special prosecutor. Galvin is a former Yates County Legislator and former Penn Yan Village Trustee.

When contacted, Lucchesi confirmed his appointment, but could not comment on the case as the files have not yet been transferred to him.

According to his firm biography, Lucchesi, a Seneca Falls native, is a graduate of Syracuse University, and received his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law in 1986, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He has over 25 years experience in personal injury claims and litigation.