-By Perry Stein

January 31, 2012– Virginia officials confirmed today that the State Attorney General’s Office has launched an investigation into Newt Gingrich’s campaign over fake ballot petition signatures, The Brad Blog reported.

Gingrich failed to collect the necessary 10,000 petition signatures to get on the Virginia primary ballot.

The former GOP House speaker was heard saying on a video first aired on CNN that the reason he didn’t get enough signatures was because a campaign worker fraudulently collected 1,500 signatures.

"We turned in 11,100 — we needed 10,000 — 1,500 of them were by one guy who, frankly, committed fraud," Gingrich is heard saying in the video.

Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified to be on the Republican primary ballot in Virginia.

The National Journal commented on the ballot quandary:

Perhaps the ultimate irony of the situation is that, of the remaining four major candidates for the GOP, the two who are not qualified for the ballot have the strongest ties to Virginia. Gingrich lives in the affluent northern Virginia community of McLean. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., was born in Winchester.

* D.C.’s Homeland Security Director Millicent West resigned Tuesday because of the ongoing investigation into former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., who pleaded guilty to using his non-profit to swindle more than $350,000 in city funds, Washington City Paper reported.

West oversaw the Children & Youth Trust Investment Corp. during part of the time that Thomas used the organization to steal the money.

West denies any wrongdoing but was referred to in Thomas’ court records as playing a role in helping him steal taxpayer money.



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